UP now has a lineup that can match up with any team, says Perasol
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Sep 17, 2017 09:28 PM
TOE-TO-TOE. Bo Perasol is liking his strong five lineup of captain Paul Desiderio, steady Jun Manzo, Malinese reinforcement Ibrahim Ouattara, and brothers Javi and Juan Gomez de Liano,
University of the Philippines only won seven times from UAAP Seasons 73 to 78.
Yes, UP only won seven times in 77 games through six years and five head coaches.
The dark days in Diliman hung over the likes of former mentors Aboy Castro, Boyet Fernandez, Ricky Dandan, Rey Madrid, and Rensy Bajar.
Enter Bo Perasol in Season 79 and from then to Season 80, the Fighting Maroons already have seven wins.
Yes, in two years at the helm, Perasol has already given State U the same number of wins it had through six years and five head coaches.
Still, the 44-year-old remained modest as always. As he put it, “Unang-una, ‘di pa tapos yung ambisyon natin. Masaya tayo na naabutan na natin yun, pero malayo dapat sa utak natin yung mga nangyari noon.”
He then continued, “Feeling ko, malayo pa tayo dun sa point na talagang gusto kong lumaban – yung point na pagkita mo, alam nating talo natin sila.”
Indeed, looking at UP’s 2-1 record in the ongoing season could be misleading as they are yet to win against a legitimate contender.
However, the mere fact that the Fighting Maroons find themselves at the top half of the standings in the earlygoing of the tournament is a marked improvement.
And they can thank a much promising core for that – a core comprised by team captain Paul Desiderio, steady Jun Manzo, Malinese reinforcement Ibrahim Ouattara, and brothers Javi and Juan Gomez de Liano.
It was with those five on the floor when State U went on the scintillating 21-3 surge that ultimately led to their most convincing victory thus far on Saturday.
In the end, Desiderio was +21, Manzo was +4, Ouattara was +24, Javi was +22, and Juan was +11 – meaning their team was noticeably better when they shared the floor.
And it will be with those five that Perasol believes they can keep making noise. “Those five, if they can hold their ground on defense, I’m positive they can match up with any team. Yung limang yun, kung kaya nilang dumepensa, kung kaya nilang mag-rebound, kaya nila,” he expressed.
Without a doubt, that kind of confidence is the most obvious sign of how far UP has come.
Followed this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.