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Desiderio bares struggle

By: Jerome Lagunzad

Paul Desiderio has emerged as University of the Philippines’ main offensive weapon, but is fully aware that he needs to share the ball with his teammates and improve on his shot selection.

“Personally, hindi pa ako nakakapag-adjust. Masyado akong naka-focus sa scoring,” he admitted. “Dapat sa next game, playmaker na rin ako. Kailangan makapag-adjust na talaga.”

The six-foot Cebuano guard hopes to make up for it when the Maroons take on struggling University of the East today at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Desiderio is averaging 13 points and 6.5 rebounds in their first two matches. He hit the game-winning triple against University of Santo Tomas during the UAAP opener.

However, Desiderio is just shooting 26 percent (10-of-38) from the field and had only one assist and a steal in their 92-71 loss to Ateneo last Wednesday.

Desiderio blamed the nagging meniscus tear in his right knee he suffered during a practice game last June.

“Nasa utak na lang talaga. Hindi na talaga ‘yung katulad dati na salaksak lang nang salaksak, naiilang lang talaga.

Hindi ko naman na iniinda pero natatakot pa rin,” he said.

UE’s ace wingman Alvin Pasaol is also dealing with his own predicament in terms of managing his fouls and shooting woes during their team’s first two losses.

“I think it’s a concern kasi he (Pasaol) has to check that (personal fouls) and play a lot smarter. He has to give up something. Hindi pwede lahat agawin niya. He has to play smarter,” said UE coach Derrick Pumaren.

“The effort is there but he’s still not shooting well for the first two games. He didn’t shoot well from the three (point area). It is a concern for us because he should be the one leading us offensively but if he has a bad shooting night, we’re in trouble.”

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