UP officially hands over reins of Fighting Maroons to Perasol

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on May 02, 2016 05:19 PM
UP officially hands over reins of Maroons to Perasol
THIS IS IT. UP hopes that the homecoming of Bo Perasol will finally bring long-awaited, much-wanted success for the Fighting Maroons. (Photo courtesy of Mel Macasaquit)

For the fifth time in the last five years, the University of the Philippines will have a new name calling the shots for their men’s basketball team.

The Fighting Maroons are nothing but hopeful that Bo Perasol will put an end to all of that – and all of the struggles it brings with it.

The Diliman-based squad officially announced on Monday that their alumnus Perasol is their new head coach. “Yes, his appointment has been approved by chancellor Michael Tan,” team manager Dan Palami told ABS-CBN Sports.

For his part, the Maroons’ newest hope said, “It’s good to be home. I’m hoping that in my humble capacity and experience, I will be able to help out and improve our basketball program.”

The former Ateneo de Manila University and PBA mentor will be challenged to change the fortunes of a team that has moved on from winless seasons, but is still far away from contention. He is the team’s fifth head coach – succeeding Rency Bajar, Rey Madrid, Ricky Dandan, and Boyet Fernandez – since 2011.

UP began looking at a shakeup in their staff early in the year, but needed some time to sort out complications both with Perasol and the man he is replacing, Bajar.

In his lone season in the UAAP, Bajar led the Maroons to a promising start before limping to a 3-11 finish. On the other hand, Perasol oversaw an Ateneo side that went 27-17 in his three-year stay.

Assistant coaches Mo Gingerich, Poch Juinio, and Joe Ward will remain with the team.

The new coach of UP will inherit a team that lost veterans JR Gallarza and Mark Juruena, but still has a core with so much potential in Diego Dario, Paul Desiderio, and the returning Kyles Lao. They also got a boost from recruitment with talented prospects Javi Gomez de Llaño (UP Integrated School) and Kyle Ong (Xavier School).

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