Kobe Paras (middle) shoots over the defense in the UP Fighting Maroons' clash against the NU Bulldogs on Wednesday, September 18 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay
Philstar.com/Erwin Cagadas
Amid recent squeakers, UP Maroons vow to work on closing out games
Luisa Morales (Philstar.com) - September 19, 2019 - 10:21am

MANILA, Philippines — The Fighting Maroons have squeaked past their opponents not once but twice already this UAAP Season 82.

Their games against Adamson and NU were cardiac finishes, with both contests ending up with the Maroons on top by a single point.

While back-and-forth affairs prove entertaining for spectators, Kobe Paras and head coach Bo Perasol would rather have a larger margin of victory.

"We need to learn how to close out games together as a team," Perasol said after the game. 

The Maroons squandered a double-digit lead against the Bulldogs and couldn't convert on free throws late in the game that could've been the nail on the coffin.

"But that's a process... We've got three close games already. I think if we are smart enough, we're wise enough, we have to learn how to close it out," he added.

Paras, meanwhile, who finished with 25 points in their victory over NU, was simply relieved that they managed to hold the Bulldogs off just enough.

"I'm just grateful that we got the chance to finish the game like this," Paras said.

"Shout out to Coach Jamike (Jarin) and his players, they put up one hell of a game," the cager added.

The UE Red Warriors, who are coming off of a emphatic upset over DLSU, are next to stand in the way of the UP Fighting Maroons.

Perasol and the rest of the Diliman squad approach their Saturday clash with caution.

"We need to go out strong against UE who is on cloud 9 right now. That's a very dangerous team," Perasol said.

"We have to keep improving, keep playing with each other, keep playing through each other," he added.

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