UP titos Ronnie Magsanoc, Benjie Paras congratulate #16Strong

Danine Cruz on Dec 04, 2018 05:35 PM
UP titos Magsanoc, Paras congratulate #16Strong
Benjie Paras and Ronnie Magsanoc will now be joined by very important names under the label of "UP legends" (Photo courtesy of Ronnie Magsanoc).

Gone are the days that Ronnie Magsanoc, Benjie Paras, Eric Altamirano and Joey Guanio are the only benchmarks of University of the Philippines basketball greatness.

In the UAAP Season 81, Paul Desiderio, Bright Akhuetie, Juan Gomez de Liano and the rest of the modern day Fighting Maroons made history by making it back in the Final Four since 1997 and the Finals since 1986.

Now, just spectators and UP titos, both Magsanoc and Paras just can't help but feel very proud of the achievement.

"Doon palang sa makarating sa Final Four yung manalo pa lang sa La Salle, very happy saka very proud sa nagawa ng mga bata sa kanilang Coach Bo [Perasol], sa lahat ng sakripisyo nila, sa lahat ng mga tumulong, naramdaman mo na nagbunga," said Magsanoc, "It was the realization na they were in the right direction saka natutuwa ako na nabuhay yung pride sa community."

"Congratulations to Coach Bo, his coaching staff, his players na nagpakahirap para dito. We're here, we are still here to support in other ways," chipped in Paras.

If the two had it their way, they would not want any exposure anymore as the 1986 champions thinking that this year is no longer their time. They said that this is the #16Strong's time.

But when ABS-CBN Sports pressed them for some sort of reaction or message regarding this year's splendid run of the Maroons, they tipped their hats off to two entities: the coaching staff and the UP community.

"[Hindi na ako nagulat sa dami ng tao.] Expected na yan na once pumasok sa Final Four ang UP, or any other team, pag pumasok yun, talagang buhos lahat ng support and for that team to win again and in the Finals," Paras said.

"More than gulat eh natutuwa talaga ako para sa mga players kasi you see people coming together for them. Maski naman noon, mayroon naman talaga na mga loyal fans pero ito kasi it has bridged three decades of different generations eh," Magsanoc added.

"The coaching staff has done an outstanding job from the players na tinatawag na 16 Strong, whatever happens here we will be very proud of the Fighting Maroons so nagpapasalamat kami kasi they have put the fight back in the Maroons after a long time," Magsanoc said.

Season 81 was a year of rewriting history for the Fighting Maroons - Final Four, Finals, MVP. With that, both UP legends expressed that against Ateneo de Manila University, win or lose, the #16Strong are legends.

"Whatever happens in the series, I think they have cemented themselves sa legacy ng school, nung sport, sa UAAP. Job well done for Coach Bo and the Fighting Maroons including the staff," Magsanoc shared.

This year proved that UP basketball is no longer just about Magsanoc, Paras, Altamirano, and Guanio. They are now joined by names like Desiderio, Akhuetie, and Gomez de Liano.

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