At least, they scored 30 points more than their production in the last game. And they shot way better than 18.5 percent (31.1% this time). Perhaps those are the only good (by UP’s standards) things that happened for the UP Fighting Maroons as they once again smothered by FEU Tamaraws, 87-69. Well, you might also add the good scoring day by Joseph Marata as he notched a career-high 23 points. But you have to consider the fact that he jacked up 20 shots to reach that output.

UP's Andre Paras. Photo by Mark Cristino

That sad yet still charming face of rookie Andre Paras says it all. UP Fighting Maroons now one lose away from winless season. (Photo Credit: Mark Cristino, Pinoy Exchange)

UP never gave themselves a chance to win this game, or even keep it close. Their game was so gory that it could have gotten an SPG rating from MTRCB so young audience won’t witness the horrible style of UP basketball. Atrocious shot selection after the other added with lackadaisical approach on defense has been the story for UP in this game. Of course, it did not also help their cause that FEU went on a roll for the entire forty minutes. The Tamaraws were able to execute their dribble-drive motion successfully just like what they have done beautifully in the first round. And Terrence Romeo just went nuts as he tormented the Fighting Maroons’ defense (if it ever existed in this game), scoring a career-high 33 points.

Game Flow

The game went away very early for UP.

Reviewing the Keys to the Game

1. Avoid a bad start

It appeared that UP still had a hangover from the UST game as they shot for a very low 12% (3-25) from the field in the first quarter. That 12% sounds horrible even for a batting average in baseball. If there is one good thing the Fighting Maroons did in Q1, they forced the Tamaraws to commit seven turnovers (four from Terrence alone) in the first 12  minutes. However, they were not able to capitalize from these opportunities. The players appeared to be lost in their offensive sets which led to a lot of  1-on-1 plays from Soyud and Marata, two players who have no concept of good and bad shot selection.

2. Rebounds

As I’ve said in the pregame article, if there is one team that UP can outrebound in this league, it would be FEU given the lack of imposing frontcourt players on their squad.  And UP was well aware of this as they employed a huge lineup at the start with Soyud on 4-spot and Andrew Harris on 5. However, FEU still managed to outrebound UP by one. Once again, the same problem persists for the Fighting Maroons. There was lack of rebounding effort aside from Soyud as they relied heavily on him who grabbed 18 boards. Harris, meanwhile, appears to be out of position for boards despite of his height which gave way for FEU to get those boards.  On the other hand, there were a lot of contributions from the players of FEU, rebounding-wise. Romeo and Mac Belo (pretty sure he’s not related to Vicky) had nine rebounds apiece while Roger Pogoy and Christian Sentcheu added seven each.

3. Three-pointers

6-18 from downtown. Not bad at all. This is one of the better performances of UP at the three-point area. They could have been down as much as 40 if those threes did not connect. I have to give this one to them. Small victories. UP needs them especially that almost everything went wrong in this game.

Final Thoughts

Hard to fathom but we could be forty minutes of basketball away from another dreadful winless season. With this type of performance, it won’t be a surprise if it is going to happen again, just like in 2007 and 2010.  Arithmetic sequence tells us that 2013 is the next term after 2007 and 2010. Alam na.