The UP Fighting Maroons aren’t about to start celebrating just yet.
After beating a gritty UST side on Saturday and posting their best record since 2004, head coach Bo Perasol is turning his focus on their next matchup against De La Salle University.
As they should. They’ve yet to book a seat at the Final Four — the team’s ultimate objective, of course — and with UP and FEU controlling their own destinies as they vie for that last ticket, nothing is set in stone.
“The best thing that this win had done for us is to place us in the best position to really fight for that slot. However, we would want to take it away from our minds. It’s just a lingering thought over there because that’s going to be one win. We need one win on Wednesday. We have to put this win behind us,” Perasol said.
Scoring a repeat of their September 30 mastery against the Green Archers, who are riding a three-game winning streak right now, will doubly be harder this time around, but the coach trusts the fight that his boys have in them.
“I think the advantage of La Salle is they’re used to these kinds of situations. Our hope is that we’re going to learn as fast as we could, playing with everything at stake. But I have trust in what I see in my players, their desire, their persistence, their belief in what we could do together,” he said.
UP also has a chance to eclipse that 2004 squad’s seven-win output, but Perasol reiterated that it’s not the end goal.
“We’re not stopping there. At the end of this is we really would want to be competing with the best. That’s what we stand for. We want to be excellent, we want to be honorable.”
La Salle and UP will tip off at 4 p.m at the Mall of Asia Arena.