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    Bo Perasol appeals for UP support to Maroons 'through thick and thin'

    Sep 30, 2019
    PHOTO: Edward Solo

    UNIVERSITY of the Philippines coach Bo Perasol took the opportunity to rally not only his troops but also the Diliman faithful as the team braces for the second round, a day after being ejected for an outburst against a UAAP match official.

    Perasol released a letter on Monday, calling for unity as the Maroons face tough expectations after a runner-up finish last season.

    "More than any true-blooded Isko or Iska, I as coach expect so much from this present lineup. I am, as coach, in charge of what the players will ever become at the end of the season, as champions or mere contenders with nothing to show for despite the huge build-up we made," he said.

    "It's about time that we all realize the fact that the UP Men's Basketball Team will never be champions simply because we are all cheering for them, praising them for the wins, but bashing them to no end for not beating their opponents."

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    With MVP Bright Akhuetie getting a boost from recruit Kobe Paras, the Fighting Maroons have managed to gain second place with a 5-2 win-loss record.

    But Sunday's highly-emotional duel between UP and Ateneo showed that the Blue Eagles still had the number of the Fighting Maroons, taking the 89-63 victory on Sunday in a game where Perasol himself got ejected early in the third quarter.

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    Perasol vowed to rise above these adversities as he finds himself in danger of being suspended for a number of games.

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      "The season is not lost just because we lost our last game. Definitely, we are not yet done with Season 82 due to my ejection over what I view as both poor and biased officiating. I paid the price for my reaction by not being able to coach the rest of the game. I do need to do better when confronted with a similar situation," he said.

      "The greater challenge now is for me, the players and everyone in the UP community to rise above what happened. We have to take the last game as a wake-up call, something that should spring us back to life and to the reality that much work needs to be done. The focus should not be on one incident, one play, one non-call or one game, but rather, all our eyes should be on the prize."

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      Perasol even went as far as raising the stakes, hinting that a failure to complete the goal at hand may just very well mean the end of his tenure in UP.

      "I coach not only for myself or for my players, but for the entire UP community who were watching the game live at the Araneta Coliseum or at their homes. I know that if I do not deliver now and go all the way in Season 82, then I have no business being at the bench of the UP Maroons any minute longer," he said.

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      Perasol's full statement:

      I know that there are those who are unconditionally behind me as coach regarding my behavior during the UP-Ateneo game and many who are cursing me to high heavens for my fighting stance, to the point that I ended up being ejected. Many in the UP community expect so much from this Maroons team for Season 82. I don't blame them. Truth to tell, though, more than any true-blooded Isko or Iska, I as coach expect so much from this present line up. I am, as coach, in charge of what the players will ever become at the end of the season, as champions or mere contenders with nothing to show for despite the huge build up we made. Indeed, to the players, marquee or not, go all the praises when we win, and every time we lose, it's all my fault as the coach. I accept that with all humility, together with all the harsh words that go with every defeat that we suffer. But more than these untold sufferings, it's about time that we all realize the fact that the UP Men's Basketball Team will never be champions simply because we are all cheering for them, praising them for the wins, but bashing them to no end for not beating their opponents.

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      It's time we all realize that we all, players or supporters, should pick up the pieces when we lose and not beat each other up to pieces when we do not come out victorious. We have to be behind each other, come what may, through thick or thin, rather than be at each other's throat when we lose by one point or by 26 points. If a win is a win so long as we scored more than an opponent, then a loss is a loss even if the margin is 26 points or more. I am not perfect, and I will never be even if I did not end up being thrown out for losing my temper or failing to call the shots against all odds. I coach not only for myself or for my players, but for the entire UP community who were watching the game live at the Araneta Coliseum or at their homes. I know that if I do not deliver now and go all the way in Season 82, then I have no business being at the bench of the UP Maroons any minute longer.

      Continue reading below ↓

      The season is not lost just because we lost our last game. Definitely, we are not yet done with Season 82 due to my ejection over what I view as both poor and biased officiating. I paid the price for my reaction by not being able to coach the rest of the game. I do need to do better when confronted with a similar situation. The greater challenge now is for me, the players and everyone in the UP community to rise above what happened. We have to take the last game as a wake up call, something that should spring us back to life and to the reality that much work needs to be done. The focus should not be on one incident, one play, one non-call or one game, but rather, all our eyes should be on the prize. I intend to lead the entire UP Men's Basketball Team to victory in Season 82. It is my sacred duty, not only as a coach, but a proud Iskolar ng Bayan, to keep on fighting up to the very end of the season till the prize is won and the championship trophy is lifted for all Iskos and Iskas to bask on for the greater glory of the one and only "Unibersidad ng Pilipinas." Should this not happen and if I fall terribly short, then, and only then, that you can blame it on me and the buck stops at me. For now, we will continue to Fight and Win for ourselves, the team, the supporters and the entire UP community. Let the second round begin!

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      PHOTO: Edward Solo
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