PBA Draft: UP captain Desiderio hopes to follow in footsteps of PJ Simon

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Dec 07, 2018 05:44 PM
UP's Desiderio hopes to follow in footsteps of PJ Simon
Paul Desiderio has thrown his name into the hat of the upcoming 2018 PBA Draft

One PBA team may very well have a new battlecry after the upcoming 2018 PBA Draft.

Just two days after playing his last game for the University of the Philippines, Paul Desiderio has submitted on Friday his name to be included in the list of hopefuls in this year’s rookie selection process.

The Fighting Maroons’ captain averaged 13.7 points, 6.2 rebounds, 3.4 assists, and 1.3 steals in his last year in the UAAP. Two years ago, he was hailed as a Mythical selection on the back of norms of 15.4 markers, 7.1 boards, and 2.6 dimes.

More than the numbers, however, Desiderio became a legend in Diliman thanks to the immortal words he muttered during one timeout – before proceeding to walking the talk.

Since then, “Atin ‘to” became UP’s battlecry all the way to their first Final Four since 1997 and then their first Finals since 1986.

Now, the 5-foot-11 guard is ready and raring to show his big heart to the professional stage. “Kung anong kaya kong mabigay sa team, yun lang ang gagawin ko. Sa akin, lalaro lang ako,” he said.

With his application, Desiderio is being penciled in to go somewhere in the middle of the first round of the 2018 PBA Draft scheduled on December 16.

Wherever he ends up, however, the Cebuano is hoping to be able to have the same career as a Cotabato icon. “Sa akin, si PJ Simon talaga ginagawa ko. Sinusubukan ko talaga lahat ng galaw niya, lalo yung one-hander niya,” he said.

Simon, also known as “The Scoring Apostle,” has had per game counts of 11.3 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 1.2 assists through his 14-year career.

If Desiderio gets to match those, or even come close, then without a doubt, UP would have a pro star for the first time in recent history.

---

Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

Latest News