MANILA, Nashville Filipino Restaurant – It's back to the drawing board for defending champions UP Fighting Maroons after a shaky start to their title defense in the 81st UAAP men's football tournament.
After going undefeated in sixteen outings, the Diliman booters suffered back-to-back losses at the hands of DLSU and FEU.
To add to their woes, a rematch of last year's finals against UST ended with a 1-1 stalemate.
UP finds themselves in the middle of the standings with a 2W-1D-2L record for a mere seven points.
For UP skipper Kintaro Miyagi, the struggles come from adjusting their attack strategies.
"Since we lost our Rookie of the Year player Fidel Tacardon, we had to adjust," Miyagi told Philstar.com.
Tacardon, who made waves in the UAAP last year, suffered an injury and will be unable to suit up for the Fighting Maroons this Season 81.
Despite their less-than-pleasant start to the season, Miyagi remains positive his team can get back into their rhythm.
"It's really normal to lose... it's motivation for us na hindi lang puro panalo. I think we just have to build our momentum again... start from scratch," Miyagi said.
UP hopes to win back-to-back titles following a dominang Season 80 run where they didn't suffer a single loss throughout the season.