UAAP: Francis Lopez says ‘no regrets’ moving to UP, shines in Final Four
MANILA, Philippines — Almost a year ago, Francis Lopez was celebrating with Ateneo, which reclaimed the crown in a rematch with University of the Philippines in the UAAP Season 85 men’s basketball Finals Game 3.
On Saturday, Lopez was in a festive mood again but this time after helping the Fighting Maroons dethrone the Blue Eagles, 57-46, in their Season 86 Final Four showdown.
When asked about eliminating his high school alma mater, the UP rookie only thinks about the Fighting Maroons and he didn’t regret choosing State U as his college school after his pro plans with Overtime Elite in the United States didn’t push through.
“I have no comment about that. But what matters is where I’m at right now, which is UP. I have such an amazing feeling. I feel blessed that I’m here and I have no regrets transferring to UP,” said Lopez after delivering 12 points and 10 rebounds to help the Maroons reach the championship round for a third consecutive time.
The 20-year-old forward was thrilled to contribute to UP’s recent success but he is hungry for more as he makes his first UAAP finals starting next week.
“There’s been some ups and downs but coaches have been telling me that you just gotta move on and keep on learning on what mistakes I have done. I’m just happy that we got this win,” Lopez said. “I know that it’s a tough win but it’s gonna be tougher in the finals because that’s the final games. I’m just really happy but the job is not done for us. Our mission is two more wins.”
Lopez put on the finishing touches for UP in a low-scoring duel against Ateneo, attributing his stellar game to coach Goldwin Monteverde’s preparation against the Tab Baldwin-coached squad.
“I wanna thank the coaches, first of all, for getting all this work that they’ve done for us, especially for Ateneo. Coach Tab has been here for a long time in the UAAP I know he’s gonna make some adjustments but our coaches were there. I’m just really happy that they got our back,” he said. “We just came prepared more than Ateneo and we just fought really really hard.”