UP Fighting Maroons train in Las Vegas ahead of UAAP 80

UP Fighting Maroons train in Las Vegas ahead of UAAP 80
After a promising season, the boys over at Diliman want nothing more than to finally break an almost two-decade Final Four drought.

The University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons had a breakout season of sorts last year, when they rose up from the cellars of seasons past to an improved 5-9 win-loss record for the UAAP season 79 men's basketball tournament.

After a promising season, the boys over at Diliman want nothing more than to finally break an almost two-decade Final Four drought.

To aid their cause, incoming second-year head coach Bo Perasol took the Maroons to the Impact Basketball gym in Las Vegas, a respected institution when it comes to training, developing, and conditioning cagers from all levels of competition.

The gym has been home to NBA talents like Kristaps Porzingis, Kawhi Leonard, and DeMarcus Cousins, to name a few.

And this brand of training was exactly why Coach Perasol went ahead with the program.

“Unang una, napakalaki ng pagkakaiba, kasi hotbed talaga ng basketball is America, and then dito sa Impact Las Vegas, ito rin yung seat ng maraming pumupunta sa NBA," bared Perasol, "Marami ring mga NBA players practicing with us."

Now, the Fighting Maroons are having a go at the state-of-the-art process and training facility, looking to complete their turnaround from the collegiate minnow of yesteryears.

"Minsan 'yung ginagawa naming training sa Maynila medyo naninigas kami kaagad," Perasol said, "Dito there's a mixture of parang stretching, mixing conditioning, weightlifting, so 'yung mga bagay na ginagawa ng mga mataas na kalibre ng players, 'yun ang ginagawa namin dito."

Aside from getting to train with New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony, prized recruit Juan Gomez de Liano remains positive, after the squad's continued development following an improved outing last season.

"I'm really confident, though we haven't proved anything yet, but nung summer we were able to get two championships out of three leagues, so excited lang, really," the incoming rookie said. "Expect us to do great this season."  

Noah Webb, UP's relentless workhorse knows more than anyone in the squad that their grind now will work wonders in the coming season. "They always put us in different situations. They make sure that we are tired when we are taking out shots, so that when we are in the actual game, our shots won't change, so they keep us tired." 

Filipino-American center Andrew Harris says the program will be a game-changer for them in the nearing UAAP wars.

"I think this will be a big factor in helping us this upcoming UAAP season. We are gonna be in great shape, better disciplined, we are gonna have better shooting forms, everything from this training camp, as long as we remember and we take to heart what we learned," Harris beamed.

 

 

With a report from Bev Llorente, ABS-CBN News.

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