UP community now ‘bo-lieves’ thanks to Perasol and Manuel

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Nov 14, 2016 05:46 PM
UP community now ‘bo-lieves’ thanks to Perasol and Manuel
SELF-WORTH. Bo Perasol came into the season as UP's next great hope and he has indeed given UP something to hope for.

In the preseason press conference of the UAAP 79 Men’s Basketball Tournament, coach Bo Perasol said his University of the Philippines was the darkhorse.

The response drew laughter from those who were in attendance as the Figting Maroons have only averaged one win in the last 10 years and Perasol was yet to call his first game in the UAAP for his alma mater.

Fast forward to the end of their elimination round, however, and both State U and Perasol have more than proven they should be taken seriously. With five wins under their belts through 14 games, they registered the school’s best record in a decade.

In fact, UP was still in the running for the playoffs until late in the eliminations and it took a more mature than expected Adamson University to finally douse cold water on their hopes.

Through it, Perasol said he looked back at his earlier remark and even thought he was prophetic. “(Our run) was really unexpected. I was joking at the press con when I said we were the darkhorse because nobody believed that we were the darkhorse,” he shared.

He then continued, “But in the course of the second round, I started to believe that it was probably true.”

Under the guidance of the coach who knows something about winning with an underrated team, the Maroons exceeded expectations and energized the school’s first playoff push in a long while. The surprising success even led to team captain Jett Manuel being named the first Player of the Week hailing from Diliman.

In the course of their surprising success, Manuel said State U’s men’s basketball team also became a family for the first time in a long while. “We came in(to the season) not a family and then we became one. Going through five years with the program na sobrang gulo, this season meant so much for me because we came together when people least expected it,” he shared.

He then continued, “I’m happy they responded to everything I was telling them. I’m thankful to be leaving something behind to UP.”

In the end, that’s indeed what the 23-year-old wants to be remembered for – as the King Maroon who brought together not only his team, but the Diliman community as well. “No one is going to remember how many points I scored, the awards I won, but I’m happy to think na the team’s going to build on whatever I left behind,” he said.

He then continued, “The leadership and the values I wanted to impart, that’s I felt na I left behind and I’m happy about it.”

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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