UAAP basketball: UP coach Monteverde takes blame for Ricci Rivero's late blunder | Inquirer Sports
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UAAP basketball: UP coach Monteverde takes blame for Ricci Rivero’s late blunder

/ 02:18 PM May 12, 2022
UP coach Goldwin Monteverde talking to Ricci Rivero. UAAP PHOTO

UP coach Goldwin Monteverde talking to Ricci Rivero. UAAP PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — University of the Philippines coach Goldwin Monteverde took the blame for Ricci Rivero’s blown final possession in their 69-66 Game 2 defeat to Ateneo in the UAAP Season 84 men’s basketball Finals on Wednesday at Mall of Asia Arena.

The Fighting Maroons crawled back from a 15-point deficit in the third quarter and even took a one-point lead in the payoff period, 57-56, off Carl Tamayo’s corner triple with five minutes remaining before Ange Kouame, SJ Belangel and Gian Mamuyac came to the rescue for the Blue Eagles, gaining a 69-63 breather.

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Rivero trimmed the lead, 69-65, with 37.2 ticks left. But he uncharacteristically dribbled the time away in the final 17 seconds, not taking an attempt until he attacked the basket and drew a foul with only two seconds remaining.

The graduating guard made his first free throw but missed the second as Dave Ildefonso grabbed the rebound to seal Ateneo’s win and force a do-or-die Game 3 on Friday.

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Monteverde shouldered the blame, saying he and his coaching staff failed to remind Rivero of the game clock.

“I think mali namin yun sa aming coaches. We should have reminded him about that situation,” the UP coach told the reporters. “Hindi naman kay Ricci yun, but rather, I see it as a part na dapat sa amin nanggaling yung tungkol sa clock. We should have reminded him na yung oras, yung score.”

[I think it was our (coaching staff) mistake. We should have reminded him about that situation. It wasn’t Ricci’s fault. But rather, I see it as a part of our (mistake). We should have reminded him about the clock and score.]

Monteverde, whose wards upset the defending champion in Game 1, 81-74, last Sunday, admitted they didn’t play consistent and failed to take care of the ball, giving up 20 turnovers that gifted easy 20 points to Ateneo.

“We started slow. Our defense was not that tight in the first three quarters. We have to show consistency on that aspect. We need to be more responsible with the ball because we gave up too many turnovers,” he said.

UP may have failed to complete a sweep in Game 2 and end the school’s 36-year title drought in UAAP basketball, ut Monteverde lauded his Maroons’ never-say-die spirit.

Now they hope to learn from their mistakes and play consistently all throughout the no-tomorrow decider on Friday, where they try to bring home their first UAAP title since 1986.

“For one thing, our team takes pride that we never give up during games whatever the score is. We fought until the end,” he said. “But the biggest takeaway for me is whatever mistakes we made awhile ago… Definitely we’re going to work on it.”

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TAGS: Coach Goldwin Monteverde, Ricci Rivero, UAAP Men's basketball, UP Fighting Maroons
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