Nowhere To Go but UP… And it started Yesterday!
If you got a notification that a new post just went up here at rcandcess.wordpress.com, that means only one thing…
…UP won in the UAAP.
So, welcome back me.
Now that we got that out of the way, let’s get down to business.
A new logo. A new coach. And a new system of play.
Do these spell a new chapter of fortunes for the UP Fighting Maroons?
Hopefully the UP Fighting Maroons’ 62-55 victory over the UE Red Warriors on opening day of UAAP S78 will mean the start of better days ahead for them.
Incidentally, it was also UE who was on the losing end of the game the last time UP won a season opener back in 2011. Prior to that, the Maroons were coming off a dismal 0-14 season, while this time around they are set to erase a previously set 1-13 record. For the past four seasons, the Diliman-based squad managed to win only 11 games in total. They’ve had a couple of changes in coaching staff, whose average lifespan in UP’s stables has been no more than a season and a half. The term “cellar dweller” has seemingly become default name tag for the Maroons. For most followers of basketball, UP could be easily considered a hopeless case.
But if there’s a group who never subscribed to the idea of being losers, it was the Maroons themselves, along with the throng of UP faithfuls who never left the sides of the ballers who proudly wore maroon and green on the floor. Through all those seasons of heartbreaking losses and winless records, the UP Community just kept on believing, because they have all the reasons to believe that one of these days UP will finally get the winning ways back.
After all, there’s nowhere to go but UP.
During the game we saw flashes of brilliance displayed by the likes of Dave Moralde, Paul Desiderio, Diego Dario, and of course Gelo Vito, who helped secure the win by sinking three treys that gave the Maroons the comfy lead. Then there’s the returning Jett Manuel, who actually returned after basketball training in the states. He and Mark Juruena are now the most senior among the players of UP right now, and they are the ones who I think really are most hungry for the wins that would break the dry losing spell for their beloved school in the game of basketball. Then the rookies Cheick Kone, Jerson Prado , Jan Jaboneta and Pio Longa give UP a fresh look and more cohesion, as some of them will provide the chemistry and connection along with veteran guard Henry Asilum.
Should we take new head coach Rensy Bajar’s prediction that this squad will land the final four this year? Well, they would say that is just wishful thinking. I’d rather say I’ll be hoping for the best and planning for the worst. Not that I believe in bad luck, but I just don’t want to be called the jinx.
For now, let us savor this opening win. Come Wednesday, UP will face DLSU, and the concept of a fluke should they lose. Not that we are suckers for losing and that we will just settle for a short-lived celebration over one win. But should the next win come now or in any of the next 12 games, or never at all… We will stand by the UP Fighting Maroons