Fighting Maroons Beat UE, End Losing Streak
Finally, the losing streak is over.
The UP Fighting Maroons, led by a new head coach and flanked by returning rosters, scored their first win of the season on their first game for UAAP Season 74, beating the UE Red Warriors 69-61, and ending an 18-game losing streak.
The last time the Maroons won was on August of 2009, when UP beat La Salle, courtesy of a former baby green archer Mikee Reyes. Reyes will be sitting this season out due to injury, but definitely a lot of other players have been stepping up since pre-summer tourneys, and especially yesterday when they had their first tiff.
Most remarkably the two Mikes.
The returning Mike Gamboa led all scorers with 19 points, with 12 coming from beyond the far arc. This season, the UAAP adopted the FIBA rules on three-point shooting, using the pro line as the official spot for treys. Mike Silungan, who sat out most of the second half had 15.
Other role players like Jett Manuel, Miggy Maniego and Carlo Gomez all contributed to this win over the same opponent that handed them their last defeat last season, which gave them their second winless season in 4 years. UP Alumni Woody Co and Martin Reyes, who endured the two winless seasons, where present to witness the 18-game losing skid come to an end at the Big Dome.
UP is set to tackle another rebuilding team with the NU Bulldogs, whose coach, Eric Altamirano, was a former UP coach and fellow Maroon of UP’s new tactician, Ricky Dandan.
While the Maroons had a good outing during the previous summer leagues, nothing much is expected from the Fighting Maroons but to strengthen their team under a new season. The UP Fighting Maroons have followed the tradition of having alumni for coaches, except for two occasions, including last year’s Boyet Fernandez, whose controversial replacement of Aboy Castro ended up with a 0-14 card.