UP Maroons will not give up as they prepare for the UAAP finals

In the culture of UP Maroons head coach Goldwin Monteverde, rookies Carl Tamayo and Harold Alarcon are not permitted to give up.

They have shared this trait since their playing days for the NU Bullpups – also under Monteverde – at the UAAP juniors basketball level.

Tamayo, who played in the Fighting UP Maroons’ incredible Final Four comeback against the La Salle Green Archers, stated, “When I was a kid, coach Gold used to beat me, and we never lost a game.”

“We are aware that we are in a precarious situation. But I’ve known since I was a child that I’ve never affected a situation of this kind.”

When I was a kid, I played for Coach Gold, and he never taught us to quit. We were aware of our difficulties, but I knew that I should not give up, especially in such circumstances.

Alarcon, who led UP Maroons to the finals against Ateneo, knows the value of persistence

Alarcon remarked, “The importance of Coach Gold’s early outreach to us and his emphasis on team culture will not lessen until the final buzzer sounds.”

Since our time at Northwestern, the most significant component of coach Gold’s ethos has been to never quit up until the final buzzer.

Tamayo points 12 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter, including the game-winning and-one with 21.5 seconds remaining. As the Maroons rallied from 14 points down in the final 7 minutes to defeat the Archers, 78-74. Tamayo also contributed ten rebounds, four steals, and three assists.

Alarcon, who filled the void left by the injured CJ Cansino. Finished with 14 points on 3-of-4 shooting from deep. Including a vital three-pointer at the 3:50 mark of the overtime period, which trimmed La Salle’s advantage back to single digits and ignited UP’s late-game comeback.

“I just recalled [yesterday’s] practice, where we were down five players. The other day, a few of the men had food sickness,” stated Monteverde, referring to the injured and ill members of the team.

“Before we began this game, everyone decided that we would fight till the end no matter what happens. Fortunately, everything we discussed transpired as planned. We never gave up, and we won,” persisted.

Sunday, May 8, marks the beginning of the best-of-three finals between the UP Maroons and the defending champion Ateneo Blue Eagles. Without a doubt, the Maroons will require the same fortitude when they face the Blue Eagles.

“More than the Xs and Os, I believe the heart we displayed in the Final Four was the most crucial factor,” stated Monteverde.

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