There’s really not much to say about the 94-70 crushing of the UP Fighting Maroons in the hands of the number one team, the FEU Tamaraws. All that can be said UP right now are these two things: they must win in their next game, and they must learn to exorcise the ghosts that haunt them.
The misfortune of a 24-point trampling actually pales in comparison to the fact that the Maroons are caught right in the middle of a controversy surrounding their coaching staff. The confusion brought about by Aboy Castro’s indefinite leave and the taking over of Boyet Fernandez as UP’s coach has dampened the spirits of the players in ways that no editorial commentary can precisely capture, either here or in some other forum of free speech.
In five days, UP will face a co-dweller in the bottom of the standing, UE, also nursing a winless scorecard. One team will break the drought, while the other team will suffer the agony of a fifth defeat. For UE, they have never been this dismantled, and they will make sure they will win at the expense of UP’s. UP on the other hand, while having gone through a winless season just three seasons ago, will not concede and let the Red Warriors have their way.
For all we know, this will be the Fighter vs. the Warrior on Saturday.
With four losses already recorded for them in the first round, the Maroons are now facing more questions than giving out answers: are they really the Final Four contenders they were being dubbed to be during the pre-season? Will the veterans prove their edge in experience in the next games? Will Mike Silungan finally get the much awaited affirmation of his hype with a win for the Maroons? Is Boyet Fernandez worth the exit of Aboy Castro?
Count six more days, and we’ll see.
After a week of speculation about whether or not he will be staying as head coach for the UP Fighting Maroons, Aboy Castro has filed an indefinite leave from head coaching the Diliman-based squad.
UP College of Human Kinetics Dean Leilani Gonzalo confirmed the news around lunchtime today, and said that the third year head coach of the Maroons, while on leave, will still remain as head coach on paper. Assistant Coach Potit De Vera takes over the reins, and will be assisted by Jerry Codinera and consultant Boyet Fernandez, whose presence in the team’s coaching staff has fueled reports about Castro’s end in term in coaching UP’s ballers.
Despite the big talks that surrounded UP during the pre-season, the Maroons are now down at the bottom of the standing with a winless record and three losses. Their latest was incurred via overtime from the UST Growling Tigers, a game where Castro was no longer the one coaching, and where Boyet Fernandez was seen drawing up the plans in the dying seconds of the game.
The change in guards, however, has not dampened the hopes of the Maroons to barge into the win column. Their tough assignment on Sunday against FEU might just be the lucky break that, according to Codinera, might trigger a run for the remainder of the season’s first round.
The Maroons almost had it as they grabbed the lead from the Tigers during the second half. It was only a miscue of Mike Silungan that forced the game to overtime, where UST took over things and sealed an 87-81 win.
The performance of UP, however, was a whole lot better than the first two losses. It was a decent second half for UP, which was known for failing to close out games properly, and gave UST the scare. This, eventually will be a big stepping stone for UP to build momentum for the next games.
As much as it pains me to write about this, I can only say that the frustration building up on me has not yet succeeded in hindering me to deliver to you this latest news: UP lost to UST via overtime, 87-81.
What’s even painful was that as regulation was closing, UP was still up, although narrowly by 1. Eventually, that lead proved to be an uncomfortable one as the Tigers pushed the square-off to an extra five minute playtime. It was there that UST went for the kill, pounced on the Maroons, and sealed the deal.
I can only shake my head in dismay as the Diliman five drop to the cellar of the standings.
While it is still too early to predict, hopes for a final four appearance this season is slowly evanescing.
Up next for UP are not so easy teams. NU, FEU, Ateneo and UE, are all smelling blood against the Maroons, and if UP can’t win these next four assignments, the prospect of a top four slot might just slip out of their hands.
Since it’s UAAP Season, let’s go ahead and ask our followers…
WHICH UAAP TEAM WILL MAKE IT TO FINAL FOUR THIS SEASON?
Of course, you know which team I will be going for, right? Hehe, don’t let me get into your decision making. Go ahead and cast your vote for which team among Ateneo, Adamson, FEU, La Salle, UE, NU, UST, and UP will be on the top half of the standings after 14 games!
Two of the pre-season favorites coming into the UAAP Season 73 squared off last Saturday, and it was the Adamson Falcons who proved their mettle against the UP Fighting Maroons, winning 66-59.
The Maroons were able to knot the game at 44 by the end of the third period. But after that, it was all Adamson defense that held down the Maroons to a miserable 4-of-16 in thei field goal department. Woody Co, Mike Silungan and Martin Reyes worked it out to keep in close tab with the San Marcelino Five, who just went out with all the defensive stops that hindered the Diliman Squad to notch their first win for the season.
Adamson, courtesy of the heroics of Eric Camson, Jerick Canada and Alex Nuyles, are now on the top half of the standings, sharing a 2-1 card with Ateneo and La Salle. UP, on the other hand, is at the bottom, together with a wounded UE Red Warriors, who suffered a painful crushing from the Archers last Sunday, 82-63.
So far, FEU is on top with a clean slate of two wins and no losses. NU and UST are in 5th and 6th slots with one win each and two incurred defeats.
UP is set to face the UST Growling Tigers on Thursday at 2PM, along with the UE-FEU game at 4PM. UP needs to win this game to escape the cellar momentarily with a 1-2 card, or else they find themselves reeling at 0-3 all alone.
Do you want to know how kids pray to God? You’ll be surprised at how sincere (and sometimes blunt) with their petitions:
Instead of letting people die and make new ones, can’t you just keep the ones you have now?
I think about you sometimes, even when I am not praying.
Thank you for the baby brother, but what I prayed for was a puppy.
Maybe Cain would not have to kill Abel if they had their own rooms. It works for me and my brother.
I heard from teacher that Thomas Edison made the light. But in Sunday School they said you did. I bet Edison stoled your idea.
Since nobody was making a fuss about them during the pre-season, the DLSU Green Archers made a noise of their own in winning fashion, beating the UP Fighting Maroons by 18 points, 80-62 on opening day of the UAAP Season 73.
Simon Atkins, the newly anointed captain of Gang Green, proved that he deserved the spot as he led all scorers with 20 points, including 3 crucial treys that sparked the hopes of the host team this season to barge back to the Final Four after missing it last year on the final season of legendary coach Franz Pumaren.
New head coach, and sibling to Franz, Dindo, got his first win as the new head tactician for the Taft ballers. Despite a change in headship, La Salle’s players picked up from the same defense trademark that the brothers were known for even during their PBA days. And true enough, the pressure defense coming from a relatively young roster of players from La Salle overpowered the experience and grit of a veteran-laden UP squad, who was actually favored to take a first game win over the host school.
UP’s players committed twice as much infractions on the ball than La Salle’s, 21 to 10, and shot with less efficiency with their field goals, 31% to La Salle’s 38%. Only veteran Woody Co and rookie Mike Silungan came up with double-digit figures each with 17. Other than the two players, all other UP ballers who stepped on the floor contributed no more than 8 points individually.
At one point, the Maroons closed the gap at the end of the half 34-31, until a Webb-Villanueva tandem created an 18-7 run that disrupted the shift of momentum from UP in the fourth quarter. The Diliman five showed little defense to stop the Archers and played catch-up, which hardly made a dent in the lead. It was around 3:20 left in the ballgame that the 74-56 lead of La Salle made it clear that they were bagging one win.
In other games, another unexpected win came from the downplayed UST Growling Tigers, winning 80-67 against last year’s runner-up, the UE Red Warriors. Jeric Teng, Clark Bautista and Chris Camus suited up for their new roles as leaders of the pack of Tigers, combining 39 of the 80 points of UST, while UE team captain Paul Lee, forecasted to be the MVP for this season, was shackled to pouring only 7 points for a team that had lost the most number of strong starters.
Sunday games featured the rise of the Adamson Falcons, winning their first ever game one outing in five years, 60-54, against a tough but error-prone NU Bulldogs. It would have went NU’s way, with their top two players Kokoy Hermosisima and Mervin Baloran combining for 37 points, and with their big men outrebounding Adamson, 37-30 boards. But their 31 turnovers converted to 21 points for Adamson, which is the dark horse team expected to be a F4 contender this year. And in the main game, FEU proved they were the team to beat this season, after handing the defending champs Ateneo Blue Eagles their first loss of the season, 72-69. Despite winning by a three point margin only, the win gave FEU an opening day boost for their bid to win it all this season. Tamaraws’ coach Glenn Capacio gave a fearless forecast that they’re geared up to take the crown away from the Eagles this season, and his ballers from Morayta followed his lead by taking a first game win.
First games are finally over. Watch out for more UAAP action on Thursday!
The UP Fighting Maroons are set to announce tomorrow the new monicker for the State U’s varsity team.
Many people are confused as to what the term “Maroons” is. I was thinking of explaining to you that, but I suggest just go ahead and google the word. After reading the Wikipedia write-up, I guess you’ll be convinced, just like me, to keep the name.
I remember one time watching a UAAP Opening rites, which UP hosted, I think. They used the Creation story from the Bible to highlight the teams. Since most of the teams used animals as symbols, they were trampled by the sixth day creation, man to be precise, which featured UP. I thought it was a witty and subtle way of telling who’s in charge.
I don’t think there is any need to change the name of UP’s varsity team into something else. But if the guys from UP’s admin are serious about this move, I just hope the name will live up to the university’s reputation, as well as help boost morale for the players. Now more than ever, what UP needs is the support of their community for their run for the title, and not exactly a new monicker to go by.
And by the way, if you check out Wikipedia’s write-up on the Maroons, you’ll find out why the title fits UP.
Go ask Oblation and the Maroon tribes why.