‘Outhustled’ Maroons need to match Tigers’ aggressiveness, says Perasol
MANILA, Philippines—University of the Philippines has one final chance to enter the championship round of the UAAP Season 82 men’s basketball tournament but head coach Bo Perasol isn’t too keen on that possibility if his team doesn’t pick up the slack.
The Fighting Maroons were decimated in their semifinals showdown against University of Santo Tomas, 89-69, and fortunately for them, they entered the game with a twice-to-beat advantage which gave them another crack at a return trip to the finals.
Perasol said his team failed to be at par with the maniacal pace of the Growling Tigers as far as aggressiveness was concerned.
“The way we played in most of the quarters, there’s just no way we can win against UST,” said Perasol Sunday at Smart Araneta Coliseum. “We cannot be the recipient of their aggressiveness, we need to match them.”
“They (Maroons) understand that the reason that we lost three times this season against UST is because they outplayed and outhustled us.”
UST, which never trailed, forced UP to 22 turnovers and it turned those miscues to 15 easy points.
The Growling Tigers also lit up from outside the paint with 35 perimeter points to UP’s 11 but the most glaring stat in the box score was the assist totals.
UP, as a team, had 12 total assists while UST’s Renzo Subido had a dozen all to himself while the Growling Tigers–as a whole–tallied 23.
Perasol added he wants his team to not just rely on the individual talents of Bright Akhuetie, Kobe Paras, Ricci Rivero, and Juan Gomez De Liaño, who took a combined 53 shots and converted 23 of those attempts.
“If they are doing that and the others are not doing their jobs, we are going to be outscored and out-hustled,” said Perasol, whose team got swept by the Growling Tigers in the elimination round.
“If they [bench] are not going to deliver, we have to get back to our starters.”
UP’s starters did outscore their UST counterparts, 44-38, but the Growling Tigers’ reserves doubled the Fighting Maroons’ bench production at 51-25.
“It couldn’t be one, two, or three, it has to be everybody,” said Perasol. “Against a team that aggressive, we have to at least match that or be better than them.”