Lopsided Game 1 loss vs Maroons fires up Archers, says Mike Phillips
MANILA, Philippines – Bouncing back after being figuratively punched in the mouth will be the main motivation for the La Salle Green Archers against the UP Fighting Maroons, big man Mike Phillips said, as they will try to even the UAAP Season 86 finals on Sunday.
Phillips, who had 19 points and 11 rebounds in the Archers’ 97-67 defeat Wednesday night, said they want to immediately erase the bitter taste of a 30-point beating from their mouths.
“We got punched in the mouth today, and we can’t let this break us. Like I said the other day, our win streak started from a loss. So, we’re gonna try to do the same thing as much as we can,” the forward told reporters after the game.
With the game relatively close after the first quarter, the Diliman-based cagers ran away in the succeeding quarters thanks to their hot shooting and suffocating defense.
The Maroons shot 41% from the field, had 55 rebounds and stole the ball 12 times.
The Archers, on the other hand, made just 38.6% of their shots, making only two of their 23 3-point attempts. They also down just 45 rebounds and committed 18 turnovers.
UP scored 24 points off turnovers, and recorded 15 second chance points.
“You gotta give credit to UP, they played a great game. Everybody, they were very physical, and they really wanted it more than us,” Phillips said.
“So, that’s something we can really take as motivation and of course, everybody hates this taste. I really do not want the taste of a loss,” he added.
Despite the tough loss, the six-foot-eight banger underscored the need of the team to stay together.
“Even if this is our first finals, we’ve been in this situation before. We’ve lost together and won together,” he said.
“That is what was good with our first round. It was not a streak, and it was not all wins. We know this taste, so that will help us moving forward.”
La Salle will try to get their first championship in the UAAP since Season 79, but the top-seeded Fighting Maroons and their 1-0 lead stands in their path.
UP will try to win their second championship in three years as they look to close out the series on Sunday.