David defeats Goliath: UP Shocks Ateneo with First Round Upset
(I just can’t help but be happy about this sports news–a sweet victory for the UP Fighting Maroons. I have to admit, I was about to consign the entire season of UP to the loss bracket, but my disbelief has been finally dispelled by yesterday’s big upset. If we can win one, and over the defending champion at that, I’m sure we can win some more. My hats still go off for the Blue Eagles, who last tasted a defeat from the Maroons 5 years ago, indeed a remarkable record. But for now, just allow us to celebrate as if it was a championship ring we just bagged. After all, it was, in somewhat a very insignificant way, a win over the champs. I am reposting this story courtesy of inquirer.net.)
MANILA, Philippines – It took a winless team to figure out how to topple the defending champion.
Bucking all odds, the University of the Philippines Maroons barged into the win column in grand fashion yesterday by shocking the erstwhile unbeaten Ateneo Eagles, 68-58, in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament at the PhilSports Arena.
A 14-0 blitz at the start of the second half sparked the Maroons to a 43-35 lead from 29-35, before a hot-shooting performance by Woody Co kept the overwhelming underdogs on top for the rest of the game.
“It was like David and Goliath,” said coach Aboy Castro, whose Maroons shot a staggering 89 percent from the field in the fourth quarter.
“We just wanted to show not just Ateneo and the league, but more so ourselves, that we have discipline in the team. And I think we executed well today not only in offense, but also in defense.”
The season’s first big upset overshadowed the first-game thriller that saw La Salle pull off a 64-63 overtime escape against Adamson.
Maui Villanueva buried the game-clinching free throw off a foul by Adamson rookie Eric Camson with 3.7 seconds remaining as the Archers picked up their second straight triumph after a 0-2 start.
The Archers drew career-high performances from Kish Co and Hyram Bagatsing, the senior role players who knocked in clutch baskets that kept them afloat in overtime and the fourth period.
“Even though we’re a young team, we showed that we won’t run away from a game like this,” said La Salle coach Franz Pumaren. “We can survive as long as we execute well and do our game plan.”
Woody Co and Mark Lopez buried 15 points apiece for the Maroons, who came into the game averaging a league-worst 30 turnovers.
“We felt like we won the championship, obviously we love the feeling,” said Castro after the Maroons posted their first victory against Ateneo since 2004.
“We knew we could play with them and we just wanted to increase our intensity and play with more composure.”
The Eagles dropped to a share of first place with the idle Far Eastern U Tamaraws and University of Santo Tomas at 3-1.
It was also Ateneo coach Norman Black’s first loss against the Maroons, who last stunned the Eagles, 74-68, in September 2004.
Ateneo’s 58-point production was also its lowest since 2005.