Coach Bo says all of UP's 11 offseason additions solve a problem

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Aug 14, 2020 03:20 PM
Coach Bo says all of UP's 11 additions solve a problem
(Photo by Arvin Lim)

The University of the Philippines has just had the biggest offseason in school history.

Yes, one may very well argue that the offseason that saw the arrival of RP Youth standouts Bryan Gahol, Ogie Gumatay, and Paolo Mendoza in the mid-90s is still the standard in Diliman.

Still, the offseason following UAAP Season 83 has seen the Fighting Maroons open their doors to 11 promising prospects.

And head coach Bo Perasol is nothing but glad to have all of them. "I was happy with who we acquired," he said in his appearance on Coaches Unfiltered.

He then continued, "Especially the last two kasi sila yung nagpuno doon sa kulang namin."

"The last two" Coach Bo is referring to are Nazareth School of National University stalwarts Carl Tamayo and Gerry Abadiano, ranked no. 2 and no. 16, respectively in the 2020 NBTC 24.

For State U's shot-caller, their arrival is a godsend for not just because of their big names and big games. "We really lack a point guard because Jun Manzo had graduated and Juan [Gomez de Liano] decided he's going to skip the season. Then we needed a taller 4-guy to match up with the others and also to be a substitute for Bright [Akhuetie]," he said.

Indeed, Abadiano has the potential to be the answer to the maroon and green's point guard question while Tamayo stands to be their biggest recruitment get in recent history.

It's not just the former Bullpups who could prove to be key in UP's program, however.

According to Coach Bo, each and every one of Tamayo and Abadiano as well as fellow rookies RC Calimag, Anton Eusebio, and Miguel Tan and transferees Jancork Cabahug, Joel Cagulangan, CJ Catapusan, Malick Diouf, Sam Dowd, and Ethan Kirkness would have a part to play in Diliman's future.

For UAAP 83, that means filling in the roster spots vacated by Will Gozum, Janjan Jaboneta, Pio Longa, Jaybie Mantilla, Jun Manzo, Jerson Prado, Jaydee Tungcab, and Gomez de Liano brothers Javi and Juan. "Nagmumukhang marami kaming ni-recruit, pero we really lack nine players kaya when I was trying to determine kung may laban ba kami doon sa mga medyo malalakas, sabi ko parang kulang. Kulang pa talaga," Perasol said.

As per Coach Bo, the holdover Fighting Maroons are Bright Ahkuetie, David Murrell, J-Boy Gob, Kobe Paras, Ricci Rivero, James Spencer, and Noah Webb.

That means that they would have nine roster spots to fill for next season.

And now, they could do just that. As their always amiable mentor put it, "The goal is very clear to me which is to have the chance to be in the Finals again and to get the championship. First question, if wala ba yung mga players na yan, can we be in the vest position to vie for the Finals? My solid answer is no."

He then continued, "I don't think we will have that chance. Next questions, will having them give us the best chance? The answer is yes."

At the same time, State U is also securing its future with this big, big offseason.

According to Coach Bo, he would have five graduating players for next season in Akhuetie, Gob, Murrell, Rivero, and Webb. Paras may also add to that list if he so chooses.

That's where transferees Cabahug, Cagulangan, Diouf, and Kirkness come in.

And with a possible return of Javi and Juan GDL as well as the probable promotion of Jr. Maroons in Colin Dimaculangan, Jordi GDL, Aldous Torculas, and Ray Allen Torres, UP's stock looks like would not be depleted in the foreseeable future.

Of course, the question remains - are all these pieces perfect fits for the puzzle.

That, is Perasol's and Perasol's alone to answer. "Will it post problems? Definitely. Yes. But the problems are my problems," he said.

He then continued, "I have to find ways to solve those. Everything naman, nalalagay naman yan sa tamang lugar if you admit that there is a problem."

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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