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UAAP: Maroons keep F4 hopes alive

By JEROME LAGUNZAD

University of the Philippines coach Bo Perasol heaved a sigh of relief after the Maroons beat host Far Eastern University, 73-64, Saturday that brought them back in the race for the Final Four spots in the UAAP Season 80 basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena.

“Malaking morale-boosting win ‘to,” said Perasol after their first victory over the Tamaraws in 13 matches dating back to 2011.

UP's Jun Manzo (13) hugs teammate Paul Desiderio after winning over FEU  (MB photo | Rio Leonelle Deluvio)

UP’s Jun Manzo (13) hugs teammate Paul Desiderio after winning over FEU (MB photo | Rio Leonelle Deluvio)

The Maroons and the Tamaraws are tied for fourth spot with identical 5-6 win-loss records.

Before facing the Tams, Perasol admitted the Maroons were on the verge of losing their trust and confidence on each other.

“Masakit na ‘yung mga nangyayari. Nag-aaway-away na kami,” said Perasol who had a heated post-game talk with his players following their 73-64 loss to University of the East last week.

Paul Desiderio again played the hero’s role by sinking the game-winning triple with 1.1 seconds left against the Tamaraws.

It won’t get any easier from here on, according to Perasol who acknowledged the pressure facing the team.

“Yung mga struggles namin, these are the things that we need to undergo for us to grow. Pero habang andito kami sa struggle, medyo painful, masakit na ‘yung ibang nangyayari. But the most important thing is that we have a goal in mind and that is to uplift our program,” he said.

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