UP confident their basketball program already trending upward

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Aug 27, 2016 07:52 PM
UP confident their basketball program trending upward
FUTURISTIC. UP will once again put the phrase "Nowhere to go but up" to the test.

HOW’D THEY DO LAST SEASON? 3-11

YES, THEY’RE STILL HERE: Diego Dario, Paul Desiderio, Jett Manuel

WELCOME TO THE FAMILY: Bo Perasol (coach), Javi Gomez de Liano

GOOD LUCK ON FUTURE ENDEAVORS: Rency Bajar (coach), JR Gallarza

In the University of the Philippines, “nowhere to go but up” has become kind of cliché.

The Maroons have never failed to give the Diliman community something to hope for, but also have never failed to come through – 2005 being the last year they even had a .500 record.

That sort of losing streak is nothing but daunting to face, but that won’t be stopping new coach and alumnus Bo Perasol from trying. “Gusto kong malampasan namin yung pag-iisip na talunan tayo. Alam nilang kaya nilang manalo, kaya lang, they don’t believe it,” he expressed.

Perasol is the Maroons’ sixth mentor in as many years and all of them have vowed to change the culture there. So what’s different with Perasol? “Yung pressure sa akin is I really want to make them feel that they can do it because I know they can,” he said.

He then continued, “Kasi kung saan naman ako magpunta, I want to win.”

The initial results have been promising so far, in the former Maroons’ eyes. As he put it, “Sa nakikita ko sa tuneup games namin, na-iimbibe na nila.”

Indeed, team captain Jett Manuel has already been sounding more confident than he had ever been last year – when they got off to a promising 2-0 start. “We’re definitely winning more games than last year. I’m confident to say that part of our modest goals is the Final Four,” he said.

He also added, “If we do what we need to do, we can end the (playoff ) drought.”

A primary part of their high hopes for the season is an intact lineup that will still feature top guns Manuel, Paul Desiderio, and Diego Dario. They wouldn’t have a foreign student-athlete to match up with the other squads, however.

Nonetheless, Perasol is nothing but adamant that his All-Filipino lineup can make things happen. “Puro Pinoy ‘to, pero kung anumang meron kami, I’m positive that with the remaining weeks to go, mas mama-maximize pa namin.”

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

 

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