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Fortea's timely return helps Maroons get back at Blue Eagles

MANILA, Philippines — Terrence Fortea finally made his anticipated return to the UP Fighting Maroons this UAAP Season 86 in the most crucial of times, as he provided quality minutes in a 65-60 win over rival Ateneo at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Sunday.

A hamstring injury left the guard sidelined for half of the season. But now that he’s back, Fortea made it the perfect opportunity to bounce back.

Before Sunday, Fortea last played in the UAAP in Game 3 of the Season 85 finals, where UP lost to Ateneo after taking a 1-0 lead in the series.

“Siguro, yung bugso lang ng damdamin, parang hindi ko na siya iniinda eh dahil yun nga, natalo kami sa Ateneo, and yung last game ko pa is Ateneo, talo rin kami noon sa finals,” Fortea said after the game. 

“So, yun lang, di ko na siya iniinda. Siguro, pahinga na lang,” he added.

Fortea chipped in seven points and one rebound in his first game back since the UAAP offseason.

Though a bit far from his fit-again form, Fortea remained focused on contributing for his team.

“Tagal ko nang naglalaro eh, parang di ko na rin siya iisipan na kinakabahan pa ba ko, andito na ko. Mind set ko lang naman is makatulong sa team para makuha yung panalo,” he said.

Fortea hopes to consistently see action for the Fighting Maroons in the final stretch of eliminations as UP seeks to end their redemption run with a UAAP title.

UP faces the DLSU Green Archers next on November 5 at the Mall of Asia Arena.