FOR Paul Desiderio and Ron Dennison, the six-year wait was worth it for the former University of Visayas stalwarts, teaming up once again in the 2018 PBA D-League Foundation Cup under Go for Gold.
“Sobrang sarap,” quipped Desiderio, who had to wait for the second conference to come before making this repeat partnership a reality.
“Napagusapan na namin ito last December na pareho kaming team na lalaruan, kaso hindi siya naglaro sa D-League kaya hindi na natuloy.”
Desiderio was a late addition to the Scratchers squad in the past Aspirants’ Cup, but the St. Benilde Blazers-backed crew fell short of the playoffs.
Dennison, meanwhile, played for Navotas Clutch in the inaugural Anta Rajah Cup of the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League.
Now, the ex-Baby Lancers are happy to reconnect at Go for Gold after years of their fierce yet friendly rivalry in the UAAP.
“Masaya akong makalaro ulit si Paul after ilang taon din pagkatapos namin sa UV,” said Dennison. “Kahit naman na magkalaban kami sa UAAP for years, magkaibigan pa rin kami. Nakakatuwa lang din makita ang improvement ng bawat isa sa amin mula pa nung high school at naishe-share namin yun sa team.”
For the two, being on opposing side for years has not only allowed themselves to better each one’s game but also strengthened their bond.
Desiderio has emerged as one of the most elite scorers in the amateur ranks with his fearless attitude with University of the Philippines, one that has also earned him a consideration to the Gilas cadets program. On the other hand, Dennison earned a reputation as a fearless defender at Far Eastern University.
“Mas lalong tumatag yung pagkakaibigan namin. Alam niya naman na ang kulang sa laro ko at alam ko rin yung kanya kaya lagi kaming nagtutulungan,” said Desiderio.
The two gave coach Charles Tiu’s squad a boost the Game Two victory over Che’Lu Bar and Grill on Tuesday to level the best-of-five series.
Desiderio was a man of his words, bouncing back with his 10 points and two rebounds, while Dennison was just active on his time on the floor to notch 12 points, three boards, and two assists.
“I had to commend Paul and Ron. They really stepped up for us in this game,” said Tiu.
Dennison and Desiderio take great pride with what they have accomplished in their time away from each other, with the former a pivotal part of the Tamaraws’ UAAP championship back in 2015 while the latter being the first Fighting Maroon in a decade to earn a spot in the Mythical Team the season after.
But nothing compares to winning a title together, and the Cebuano guards would love to replicate their success with UV in the Cesafi juniors in 2011.
“Gusto namin manalo parehas,” said Desiderio. “Gagawin namin ang lahat para makuha ang championship na ito.”