Home / Nation / VP Leni Robredo lauds UP Maroons’ rise from the bottom to UAAP Finals

VP Leni Robredo lauds UP Maroons’ rise from the bottom to UAAP Finals

University of the Philippines’ Cinderella run has come to an end, losing to Ateneo in two games in the UAAP Season 81 men’s basketball finals.

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The Fighting Maroons were on their first final appearance in 32 years, prompting an outpouring of support from the UP community, including the person in the second-highest seat in the country.

Vice President Leni Robredo was in attendance in Game 2 of the best-of-three Finals on Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum where the Fighting Maroons fell to the defending champions, 99-81.

“UP came from the bottom and the team really rose up from there,” said Robredo in Filipino. “It’s like the whole school, not just the team, went to the finals and of course we’re all proud of them. Everyone in UP showed the school spirit.”

Robredo graduated from UP’s School of Economics in Diliman in 1986, the same year that the Fighting Maroons last won the UAAP title, and it took 32 more years before the vice president saw her team get to at least a few steps to the championship.

Although UP lost its chance at the Season 81 title, Robredo said the mere fact that the Fighting Maroons entered the finals is worthy of a bonfire celebration.

“Of course this team will have high expectations for next year because it reached this level coming out of practically nothing,” said Robredo pertaining to the years the Fighting Maroons finished seasons at 0-14. “Before even winning one game is cause for a bonfire, but these guys went to the finals.”

“I think that even if the finals was just the team’s aspiration, even those guys never imagined that their accomplishments would reach this level.”

Robredo is no stranger to UAAP games since daughters Tricia and Aika, who both graduated from Ateneo, regularly watches the game.

Tricia even served as National University’s courtside reporter for two seasons.

Robredo added that she’s always at the receiving end of her daughters’ jokes since she’s the only one in their household who’s a graduate of UP.

“This isn’t my first time because my daughters always watch basketball,” said Robredo. “They’re always making fun of me and whenever there’s a post about this game they’re always trolling me but what happened here was awesome because it was a really friendly atmosphere. The game was intense but the atmosphere was friendly.”

For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity.

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