Recruitment coup testament to UP’s commitment to produce results
University of the Philippines is arguably the most hyped about team in the UAAP at the moment, but fans have to wait another year to see the team’s top prospects in action.
With Gilas cadets Ricci Rivero and Kobe Paras, two of the most talked-about young talents in Philippine basketball, now on their program, the Diliman team became an instant favorite for years to come.
Rivero and Paras can only play in Season 82 but UP head coach Bo Perasol said the recruitment of the two players is a testament to the school’s goal of competing in the highest level.
“Kobe brings an excitement to the community, to the supporters of the team, because when you have a high caliber player like Kobe or Ricci the thought is you’re serious about what you’re doing,” said Perasol in a phone conversation with INQUIRER.net Thursday.
Rivero transferred to UP from De La Salle while Paras, who had a short-lived US NCAA career, moved from Cal State Northridge to Diliman.
Both Paras and Rivero are part of the Gilas program that is being groomed for the 2023 Fiba World Cup.
Perasol said that there’s a “win-now” mentality with UP, and he wants to see results as soon possible.
UP experienced steady development under Perasol in the UAAP with the team winning five games in Season 79, two more than the year before the head coach took over, and six in Season 80.
“It’s a process but we all want the result as soon as possible because it’s been so long that we’re in the upper half of the league,” said Perasol. “We just have to do it the right way. The important thing is we give ourselves a chance top barge into the Final 4 for us to have a chance.”
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