It was only five days ago when the UP Fighting Maroons handed Adamson Soaring Falcons their first victory in Season 78. For sure, they are raring to get back on them when the two squads clash again this Saturday that will serve as the opening act of the second round.

Needless to say, this is a must-win game for the Fighting Maroons if they still want to hold on to their aspirations to enter the Final Four which by now is a long shot but statistically probable still. A sixth consecutive defeat would totally dampen their chances given the tight battle among the five squads currently above them.

In their recent battle, the Fighting Maroons got smoked early on as the Soaring Falcons willfully took the perimeter shots given to them as UP decided to protect the paint. The Soaring Falcons attempted 32 triples in this game, making nine only though. While they were able to limit Papi Sarr‘s touches with Andrew Harris and Cheick Kone pushing him outside the paint and denying entry passes, the Fighting Maroons were certainly not prepared for an uber random event as the Jerome Garcia‘s explosion game happened. Out of the blue, Garcia knocked down five triples and posted an incredible offensive rating of 116.1 points per 100 in this match. It will be interesting to see what the defensive scheme of Fighting Maroons will be this time, given what has transpired five days ago. For sure, they can’t just pack the paint and leave the shooters open. A repeat of Garcia’s act of random greatness should be prevented.

On the other end, Adamson’s defense will be focusing on Paul Desiderio who carried UP in his shoulders during the run in the second half. Desiderio, who’s registering a usage rate of 28.6%, should be the focal point of offense as he is arguably the best shot creator of the Fighting Maroons. But he can’t do it all alone. Jett Manuel has to wake up from his mini-hibernation. The frontline has to come up with a better production.  Like what they showed in the last game, the rookies need to step up in order to snap the five-game skid. Pio Longa and Janjan Jaboneta were part of the instigators in the second half run. Sadly, Jerson Prado who had an excellent display in the first half, will be missing out this game and the rest of the season as he dislocated his patella in the right knee.

After starting the season with a lot of promise with their two wins in the first two games, the Fighting Maroons came crashing down and dropped the remaining five games in their first round schedule. The team morale might be lower than ever. A win over the Soaring Falcons is  perhaps the only thing that the Fighting Maroons need at this moment.

Game Details


TIME: 2:00 PM