FOR the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons, there’s certainly no time to sulk after their heartbreaking 66-69 loss to the Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles in Game Two of the UAAP Season 84 men’s basketball finals.

Not with the winner-take-all Game Three looming on Friday, May 13, at 6 p.m. at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

And if the Fighting Maroons are to successfully dethrone the mighty Blue Eagles, one thing is clear—they have to learn from their many mishaps in Game Two, especially down the stretch when the game hung in the balance.

“Siguro next time, we need to be more composed,” said UP’s rising Cebuano star, Carl Tamayo. “Mistakes are mistakes. Wala namang gustong mangyari yan. If my teammate makes a mistake, wala tayo magagawa dun.

“Siguro magandang learning siya sa amin as a team. Siguro yung tempo ng game, yung start ng game, dun kami nadale. And then si Malick (Diouf) nung na-foul trouble, siguro yun yung kailangan naming ayusin as a team. Yun lang naman,” added the 21-year old, Talisay City native.

UP head coach Goldwyn Monteverde also lamented his team’s slow start and their lack of ball security which resulted in them facing a 15-point deficit in the second period.

“Sa akin for this game, medyo slow yung start namin. Yung defense namin was not that tight di tulad ng fourth quarter kanina. Yung consistency namin on that part, kailangan mag-improve,” said Monteverde.

“We needed to be more responsible dun sa bola kase madami kaming turnovers. Siguro improve din sa mga reads namin on the floor. Yun lang naman yung nasa isip ko,” said UP’s first-year head coach.

Despite the quick turnaround, Monteverde said his team has to put Game Two in the rear view mirror, improve on their mistakes, and focus on the task at hand.

“Pero sa akin, ang biggest takeway nito, whatever mistakes we made a while ago, nasanay kami na every time after a game, kung ano mga mali, alam namin na dun kami mag-i-improve and definitely we’re gonna work on it.”

On the other side of the fence, Ateneo head coach Tab Baldwin was glad his team responded to the challenge.

“I think the loss in Game One in a way is a blessing. It’s a blessing because we fail in life. It happens to everybody. I think that our team — our players, our coaches — we looked at that as an opportunity to grow,” the Kiwi-American basketball tactician said.

“We looked at that as a situation in which we had to acknowledge we weren’t good enough and we had to acknowledge the changes were required mentally, physically, in all of us. We made those changes and really it’s just enough for us to survive,” added Baldwin. (JNP)