UP Maroons, Adamson Falcons clash in battle of winless UAAP teams that everyone wants to see
UP assistant coach Ramil Cruz will be calling the shots for the Maroons in the absence of suspended head coach Ramil Cruz. Jerome Ascano

UNIVERSITY of the Philippines acting coach Ramil Cruz said he feels the pressure will be on Adamson and not on the Maroons when the two winless UAAP teams collide on Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

His reason?

“Actually, mas pressured sila sa amin dahil nanalo sila last season,” said Cruz, meaning the Falcons had relatively more success than the Maroons over the years - and therefore face higher expectations.

For whatever it is worth, Cruz's analysis serves as the perplexing backdrop to an intriguing game that got more than the attention it deserves - not because of the success of the two teams involved but because of their failures.

The Maroons go into the game looking to end a 27-game losing streak that stretched back almost two years. The team is actually looking for just its second win over the last three seasons.

After six losses to start the season, the Maroons finally go into the game where they are given an even chance to win, but only because the Falcons have had as much disappointment looking for a win after a shake-up that saw the departure of their coach (Leo Austria) and their best player (Jericho Cruz).

In their first season under coach Kenneth Duremdes, the Falcons also had to endure the ignominy of scoring what is recognized as the lowest points total in a game in the league's modern era after a 25-62 loss to National University.

Duremdes, one of the finest scorers in the UAAP during his time, couldn't emphasize enough the struggles the team has had trying to put the ball through the hoop, more so after a 67-48 loss to La Salle in its last outing.

“We limited La Salle to 23 points in the first half, but our offense, 18 lang," said the former PBA MVP. "That’s the problem that we have to address. How to produce more offense.


"Nandoon ‘yung attacks, wala lang ‘yung delivery,” he added.

The good thing is, one run of futility is about to end in the 2 p.m. game. Will it be Adamson's or will it be the Maroons?

Take your pick.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @reubensports