UNIVERSITY of the Philippines main man Paul Desiderio says Far Eastern University’s Ron Dennison deserves credit for playing good defense, as he vowed to bounce back.
Desiderio, who entered the game as the second leading scorer, struggled on offense on Sunday due in part to Dennison’s defense.
With a 4-2 record, the Tamaraws moved to third spot behind Ateneo (6-0) and La Salle (4-1).
After scoring 30 in a huge stunner over La Salle, Desiderio was held to nine points on 4 of 12 shooting.
With 21 points average before the match, Desiderio stood behind only reigning Most Valuable Player Ben Mbala on the scoring list.
"Hindi ko napaghandaan si Ron. Alam niya ang galaw ko. Medyo nag-struggle ako sa offense," said Desiderio, who actually got entangled with Dennison in a controversy when he was allegedly hit by the FEU guard in the stomach area last September 25, 2016.
"Oo, magaling talaga siya. Magkasama kami nung high school before. Alam niya galaw ko," said Desiderio, a former teammate of Dennison in high school with University of Visayas.
FEU coach Olsen Racela admitted the game plan was to contain Desiderio.
"'Yun basically 'yung game plan namin. Sa board namin, ilang beses na din 'yung pangalan ni Desiderio. Of course, malaking bagay kapag meron kang Ron Dennison na di mo na poproblemahin," said Racela.
It was actually a collective struggle for the Maroons. After shooting the lights out against La Salle in its previous game, UP was limited to 23 of 73 from the field.
"Hindi ko rin masabi kasi kahapon maganda practice namin. Sana makabawi kami sa Wednesday (against Adamson)," said Desiderio, adding that he had expected teams to focus their defense on him.
"Inexpect ko na talaga. Halos hindi na ako makatanggap ng bola. Pagtira ko, may tao na talaga," Desiderio said, adding he is making adjustments. "Maging decoy na ako ako. Hindi na ako ma-oopen," said Desiderio.