The year 2018 indeed ended with a bang for University of the Philippines as they almost ended their 32-year championship drought when they entered the UAAP Season 81 men’s basketball finals and finished runners-up.
The Fighting Maroons’ refreshing energy and enthusiasm, the undying fighting spirit, and the proper play execution is attributed to their team captain Paul Desiderio whose life story was featured in last Saturday’s episode of Maalaala Mo Kaya.
Through the impressive portrayal of promising young actor Ronnie Alonte, we’re able to find out the hardships he had to go through since childhood before getting to where he is at the present. From a little boy who persistently attended training camps in his hometown Liloan, Cebu, we have witnessed how he’s soaring to becoming one of the newest breeds of basketball hotshots in the country.
During their last games, it was notable how the King Maroon unrelentingly exclaimed “Atin ‘To!”, which became the instant chant or slogan of UP. Thus, host Charo Santos-Concio asked him what incited him to utter that out of the blue.
“Nakikita ko sa mga ka-team ko an parang bumabalik na naman kami sa dati. Nakikita ko sa mga mukha nila na parang walang tsansang manalo, malungkot lahat. Ako, kaya ko sinigaw talaga ‘yan para mabuhayan sila,” he relayed.
Although it was revealed that initially dreamt of becoming a pilot, the 21-year-old baller eventually embraced his father’s personal dream and ambition for him to be a basketball player.
“Nakikita ko ‘yong father ko naglalaro ng basketball so parang nagugustuhan ko na rin siya,” he shared.
Then he added, “Pangarap ko na po talaga kasi lumaki ako sa province na di masyadong [maganda] ang buhay namin. ‘Yon ang nakita kong isang paraan na paano ko matutulungan ‘yong family ko kasi nakakuha ako ng scholarship.”
If there’s one thing that he would advise those who also aspire to achieve whatever he has right now, he said it would be to never give up. At the same time, he expressed as well his willingness to help those who are going to approach him to ask for his assistance in undergoing basketball trainings.
“Huwag silang mag-give up, lalo na ‘yong mga nangangarap na galing sa province na kahit na wala silang support, kumbaga nahihiya silang pumunta rito sa Manila para ipakita nila ‘yong talent nila, i-try lang nila. ‘Pag [trinabaho] mo lang ‘yong gusto mo, makukuha mo naman,” he stated.