It's the human and fun side of our sports heroes

Paul Desiderio extends season for family and UP community

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Rest assured, Paul Desiderio will do everything that he can just to extend his playing season.

The graduating Desiderio worked his butt off, especially in the second half which became instrumental in UP Fighting Maroons’ 73-71 victory against Adamson Soaring Falcons on Saturday.

Not only was did the UP community gave the 21-year-old the fuel that he needed during the game, but it was also his family who came all the way from Cebu just to witness him play in the Final Four.

“Kagabi, iniisip ko sa dinner ng family namin, sabi ko sa kanila baka ito na last game ko sa UAAP. Sila, nakikita ko sila na positive lang. Sabi nila sa akin, ‘Hindi pa meron pang Wednesday,’” Desiderio shared.

“Dun ako kumukuha ng lakas na hindi ako maggi-give up. Galing Cebu parents ko, pumunta lang para manood,” he added.

The 5-foot-10 guard really made sure that the UP would claim the win, as not only did he pour all of his 19 points from the second half, but he also gave Adamson big man Papi Sarr a solid screen just to create Bright Akhuetie enough separation to seal a game-winning lay-up.

“Sabi ko, amin talaga ‘to. Kaya solid pick talaga binigay ko kay Papi Sarr kahit na ang laki niya. Ang liit ko, 5-10, nag-seal pa ako sa kanya. Nakita ko nandun na si Bright, amin na talaga yun,” he said.

Now that the Fighting Maroons has the chance to upset the twice-to-beat Soaring Falcons on Wednesday, Desiderio now eyes to win it all for the Finals.

“Ilang taon nang ‘di pa nakapasok sa Finals ang UP. Ito na. Malay mo, one game, isang laro. Kahit hindi namin makuha at least nabigyan namin ng chance yung sarili namin,” he stated.