Sticking together led both Seven Gagate, Luis Pablo to UP Fighting Maroons
MANILA, Philippines—La Salle-Greenhills twin towers Luis Pablo and Seven Gagate had several choices on where to play in college, but sticking together was the main mission.
Initially, it was Gagate who was set to join the University of the Philippines after numerous dialogues but the LSGH-Benilde big also convinced Pablo, the NCAA Season 98 boys’ basketball tournament MVP, to join him in the journey.
“We really talked about where we’d play. Of course, we want to play together and I told Luis that I trust coach Gold,” Gagate said in Filipino in an online media scrum on Tuesday.
With the mention of playing together, Pablo almost immediately agreed, already knowing what their collective efforts can bring by towing the LSGH-Benilde team to the NCAA men’s basketball Finals against Letran.
“Me and seven are effective when we’re together inside the court. That’s been a huge factor, our bond. Our effect is good when we’re inside so we thought that we’d play together,” Pablo said.
And with the departure of Zav Lucero, who exhausted his playing years, and Carl Tamayo, who prematurely took his talents overseas, both Pablo and Gagate have some shoes to fill.
FIT FOR THE PROGRAM
Pablo, however, knows better than to crumble under pressure, stating that Monteverde’s system does not necessarily require them to play like Tamayo or Lucero.
“I know that coach’s view on us is different compared to past players like Carl and Zav. Our goal is to do our roles that would be given to us. All we want is to complete our roles to help the team even in our first year so we’d have good results.”
Monteverde revealed that he had kept a close eye on Gagate way before he had a chance to play in the NCAA.
“At the time, Seven’s mind in basketball was too young but his eldest brother, Shannon, was someone we recruited in third year at 6-foot-3. At the time, their sister (Thea) was already at 5’11. It’s an athlete’s family so there was potential,” the champion coach said.
“Now he’s (Seven) at 6-foot-8, maybe the tallest among his siblings.”
Pablo, on the other hand, got Monteverde and UP basketball program director Bo Perasol’s attention before the NCAA season where he would cop the best player of the season honors.
Monteverde went as far as to say Pablo is “someone UP is really looking for.”
“On Luis, ever since a year ago, we did not know if there would be an NCAA or not, we already saw him in Batang Gilas. He’s somebody who has height and good ball handling. He’s someone we’re really looking for in UP’s program.”
Following the twin towers’ move from Greenhills to Diliman is Joshua Coronel, who will not be able to play for UAAP Season 86 due to his recovery from a foot injury.
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