JD Cagulangan carries on Paul Desiderio’s ‘Atin to’ legacy for UP

JD Cagulangan celebrates after his game-winning three that lifted UP to the UAAP championship. UAAP PHOTO

JD Cagulangan celebrates after his game-winning three that lifted UP to the UAAP championship. UAAP PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — Paul Desiderio’s “Atin ‘to” has finally gone full circle after JD Cagulangan delivered the championship-winning stepback triple that ended University of the Philippines’ 36-year title drought within the UAAP males’s basketball event.

It was almost 5 years in the past when Desiderio advised UP in its closing timeout, “Atin ito. Papasok ito (this game is our, this shot will go in)” because it trailedUniversity of Santo Tomas 71-73 with 5.3 seconds remaining within the UAAP Season 80 opener final September 10, 2017.

The Cebuano shooter stored his phrase and nailed the game-winning triple with 1.4 seconds left to flee UST, 74-73. Since then, the phrase “Atin to” turned the Fighting Maroons’ battlecry.

On Friday the thirteenth, Cagulangan lived as much as Desiderio’s phrases to assist UP win its first UAAP crown since 1986 with an epic 72-69 victory in extra time at Mall of Asia Arena.

WATCH: Cagulangan’s championship-winning three! #UAAPSeason84 | through Lance Agcaoili, Inquirer SportsREAD: inq.information/UPchampion

Posted by Inquirer Sports on Friday, May 13, 2022

The smallest man on the court docket, who confirmed the most important coronary heart, might have hit the most important shot within the historical past of UP’s basketball program, however he credited their confidence within the endgame from the immortalized phrase of Desiderio.

“Ibang-iba yung Paul Desiderio. Yung impact niya, yung “Atin ‘to!” dala-dala niya yun lagi every game. Kumbaga yung crucial game namin, lagi naming sinasabi, ‘Atin to!’” stated Cagulangan, who additionally nailed a bail out triple to trim the result in 69-67 earlier than Finals MVP Malick Diouf’s slam that tied the sport with 39.7 seconds left.

“Mas pinupush namin kung saan kaya. Mas iba ang Paul Desiderio. Hero yun sa UP. Hindi mo maitatanggi yun. Parang ang laki ng impact ni Kuya Paul,” he added. 

[Paul Desiderio is different. We can feel his impact every game. Every crucial (part of the game) we always say ‘Atin ‘to!’ He is UP’s hero. Nobody can replace that, he made a huge impact.]


Paul Desiderio among the fans who witnessed UP's return to UAAP glory in men's basketball. Lance Agcaoili/Inquirer

Paul Desiderio among the many followers who witnessed UP’s return to UAAP glory in males’s basketball. Lance Agcaoili/Inquirer

Desiderio, who was a part of a roaring Maroons facet of the 15,132-strong crowd yelling: ‘Atin ‘to.’ on the decrease field of MOA Arena, admitted Cagulangan’s shot was merely  higher than his.

“Mas magaling kaysa sa akin. Mas maganda pa. Champion agad,” stated the previous UP skipper, who led the workforce to a Finals look in 2018 however received swept by Ateneo led by Thirdy Ravena.

[His (game-winning) shot was better and more iconic than mine. He won the championship for the school.]

“Ako ata ang pinakamasayang tao sa mundo. Sobrang thankful ko sa mga sponsors at sa community na maipagpatuloy ang winning culture. Sobrang happy…hindi ako makapaniwala. Basta. Sobrang saya kasi siyempre galing kami sa wala, tas ngayon champion na.”

[I think I’m the happiest man on earth right now. I’m thankful to the sponsors and the community who never stop supporting the team to finally have a winning culture. I’m so happy and I can’t believe it. We used to have nothing but now UP is a champion.]

After Desiderio’s batch turned UP from being the whipping boys of the UAAP into finals contenders, he’s glad that Cagulangan, Diouf, Carl Tamayo, CJ Cansino and this superb 2022 Maroons workforce have emerged as champions in coach Goldwin Monteverde’s first season.

“These young guys really deserved it. Although they didn’t have much experience (in college), they won a championship,” stated the PBA cager of Blackwater. “They had a great chemistry and they really showed their willingness to win for UP, our alma mater.”

Desiderio is extraordinarily pleased with how ‘Atin ‘to’ helped UP in reaching larger heights. Thanks to his uncommon encounter with Cagulangan, whom he suggested not to surrender in essential video games no matter occurs.

“Si Kuya Paul, noong once kami nagkasama ang sabi, ‘Dong, wag kang sumuko sa mga laban na mahigpit kasi kahit anong mangyari, lumaban lang kasi ibang sumuporta ang UP community,” shared the transferee from La Salle, who went from NCAA Juniors Finals MVP from La Salle Greenhills to bench hotter in his first UAAP season with the Green Archers

[When I met kuya Paul once. He told me: Don’t give up in close games. Whatever happens, keep on fighting because the UP community is there to support you.]

That temporary second of Cagulangan with Desiderio appeared like a passing of the torch from one hero to a different. And the remainder is historical past for the Fighting Maroons.

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