UP coach: Maroons won’t finish last in UAAP season 77
That was the guarantee of the Maroons’ head coach Rey Madrid with a little over a month before the UAAP action begins.
“My fearless forecast, we won’t be at the cellar this year. Guaranteed,” was Madrid’s bold statement just after UP concluded its Filoil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup on Wednesday.
Madrid said that the Maroons, who went 0-14 last year won’t be aiming to simply avoid a winless season but to also be competitive squad.
“If we win just one game, we’ll still be at the cellar. We should win a minimum of three, possibly four [games],” he said.
“Anything after that will be a big celebration in UP campus. There might be a motorcade,” he added with a laugh.
The former player is confident that even despite a small line up anchored on guards, the Maroons can work it out with their “small ball” system.
“I hope everybody could see the type of game were developing, it’s small-ball, because we’re small team. We get to neutralize the opponents’ size with much play, effort, and pace, and I can see it’s coming to form. Slowly.”
Among those on board this season for UP are guards Henry Asilum, Kyles Lao, Mikee Reyes while big men Gelo Vito and Mark Juruena are set to man the post.
While they have no surprise recruits for this season, expect some changes in the line-up entering the season.
“We’re not hiding any players, but there will be some developments that might jumble my line up in terms of eligibility and all that. But no surprises,” Madrid said.
He admitted that UP had some promising recruits showing up for this year, but ultimately turned away because of the university’s academic requirements.
“We welcomed a lot of players but we couldn’t let them in our doors because of academic eligibility,” he said.
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