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Webb-less UP faces streaking Adamson

By Jerome Lagunzad

Eager to close out its first-round campaign in the UAAP Season 80 basketball tournament on a high note against dangerous Adamson today, University of the Philippines will have to do it minus defense-minded big man Noah Webb.

Fighting Maroons coach Bo Perasol revealed yesterday that the 6-foot-3 Webb is still recovering from a sprained left ankle he endured in the closing minutes of UP’s 78-59 loss to host Far Eastern University last Sunday.

Noah Webb of the UP Fighting Maroons (MB photo | Rio Leonelle Deluvio)

Noah Webb of the UP Fighting Maroons (MB photo | Rio Leonelle Deluvio)

The sorry development comes at a worst time since the Fighting Maroons’ frontcourt, bannered by 6-foot-10 Mali center Ibrahim Ouattara, will have their hands full in slowing down their Soaring Falcons counterparts led by Cameroonian Papi Sarr.

If healthy, Webb, the grandson of former national team player and Yco star Freddie known for his hustle plays, could give UP another body who can help contain the 6-foot-7 Sarr and Adamson’s athletic forwards Sean Manganti and Tyrus Hill.

Perasol, however, is not one to cry over spilled milk, saying: “His absence will impact our rotation definitely, but we always subscribe to the philosophy which is ‘next man up.’ Whoever is next will have to step up.”

Top gun Paul Desiderio, who was held down by the Tamaraws’ smothering defense to just nine points, is expected to redeem himself as the Fighting Maroons try to keep themselves inside the “Magic Four.”

“Knowing Paul, he’ll find a way to bounce back,” said Perasol, adding his other reliables, like rookie Jun Manzo, should find a way to help ease the offensive load off Desiderio’s shoulders.