UAAP Season 80 Preview: UP Fighting Maroons looking for results
Coach: Bo Perasol
Last Season: 5-9 (6th Place)
Holdovers: Paul Desiderio, Diego Dario, Javi Gomez de Liaño, Noah Webb
Additions: Juan Gomez de Liaño, Jun Manzo
Key Losses: Jett Manuel, Dave Moralde
For coach Bo Perasol, it’s high time for University of the Philippines to not settle with just fighting but also start winning.
And this UAAP Season 80, the Fighting Maroons are setting the bar high.
“We really would want to enter and barge into the Final Four. That is really our ambition this season,” he said. “It’s going to be really tough for us, but we have to up the ante in terms of what we want to happen with our program. We were able to get five wins last season so we don’t expect to get a lower win-loss slate this coming season. The logical direction for us is to have that Final Four spot.”
Cebuano scorer Paul Desiderio will lead the Maroons along with uard Diego Dario and sophomore Javi Gomez de Liaño and promising neophytes Juan Gomez de Liaño and Jun Manzo.
Only in his second year at the helm, Perasol is firm in his belief that for the first time in a long time, UP truly has nowhere to go but up.
“That’s really our direction. We aspire to win because I know with my players, they have the capacity, we have the skills, we have the experience to achieve that and dream towards making it to the Final Four,” he said.
However, Perasol admitted that from time-to-time, shades of the Fighting Maroons’ old losing habits inevitably resurface. That’s why the mentor is doing everything he can to diffuse the doubts in preparation for this year’s campaign.
“There are still remnants of our mindset that we could only go to a certain level, so this is going to be a new territory for us. We’re barging and wanting to be in the Final Four, and for the longest time, I don’t think that is the mindset of our program. It’s easy to say but it’s hard to do with the strong lineups of every team, but we are up to the challenge,” he said.
The Fighting Maroons are out to prove that last year’s feel-good story is no fluke.
“It’s always in our moniker, that we’re the ‘Fighting Maroons.’ But we’ve been fighting for so long and it’s getting stale. We need results and we need to win,” he said.
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