Paul Desiderio confident UP Maroons can carry over preseason gains to UAAP campaign
Paul Desiderio struggled in his return from a knee injury with just five points on 2-of-15 shooting against San Beda. Dante Peralta

PAUL Desiderio bared he’s still hobbled by a knee injury he suffered in an individual training during his 10-day stay in Cebu.

But the hyperextended knee didn't stop the Cebuano cager from playing in University of the Philippines' 65-56 loss to San Beda in the Filoil Flying V Preseason Premier Cup quarterfinals on Wednesday.

"May iniinda ako sa right knee ko e. Pero okay lang din naman, nagpapagaling na lang. Pero kaya ko naman maglaro," said Desiderio, who also conducted basketball clinics in his hometown.

The injury had kept him out of UP’s games against Arellano University and National University, but Desiderio insisted on suiting up for Wednesday’s knockout match against the NCAA powerhouse.

[See San Beda beats UP to set up Filoil Cup semifinal showdown with JRU]

Still, the Fighting Maroons gunner struggled in playing through his hurting knee as he managed just five points on a horrendous 2-of-15 clip as UP bowed out in the preseason tournament.

Desiderio, though, remained optimistic that the Maroons can improve in time for the UAAP campaign.

"Matagal din akong nawala. Sabi ko na lang kay coach (Bo Perasol) bawi na lang ako sa UAAP," he said.

"Bright namin future ng team. Halos lahat maganda pinakita sa Filoil. Sana magtuloy tuloy hanggang sa UAAP," added Desiderio.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @janbballesteros