After a runner-up finish last season and adding several key players to start the year, many had pegged the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons to once again reach the Finals of the UAAP Season 82 Men’s Basketball Tournament.
But those hopes came crashing down on Wednesday, as UST’s Renzo Subido’s dagger three erased their twice-to-beat advantage and eliminated them from contention.
Although the star-studded team failed to live up to expectations, several members took to social media to address the UP community, who stuck with the team through thick and thin.
The team’s prized recruit Kobe Paras shared a video of several fans chanting “UP Fight”, as they patiently waited for the players outside the arena. The 22-year-old high-flyer shared his gratitude to everyone who embraced him in his first year as a Maroon.
Words can’t express how grateful I am for all those who supported UP this season!
Every game felt like a home game.
UP, thank you so much for welcoming me with open arms.
To all the schools we played this season, thank you for the exciting battles!
UAAP, thank you as well!
— KoKo Wave (@_kokoparas) November 13, 2019
Ricci Rivero, who transferred to UP from La Salle, also thanked those who worked away from the limelight to make sure the team played to its potential. He also thanked those who have been doubting the team since the season began.
— Ricci Rivero (@_ricciiirivero) November 13, 2019
The tweet that garnered the most buzz came from Juan Gomez de Liano, who might have hinted his departure from the team after the heartbreaking defeat. The lefty guard still has one year of eligibility left, but will reportedly weigh his options in the coming weeks.
I'll always cherish the past 7 years in my beloved Alma Mater. Definitely been the best ever. Maraming salamat, UP! It’s been real ❤️🙏🏽
— Juan Gómez de Liaño (@juan_swish9) November 13, 2019