UP Fighting Maroons not worried about loaded roster spots amid new acquisitions
MANILA, Philippines—University of the Philippines basketball program director Bo Perasol and coach Goldwin Monteverde are not worried about the pool of talents in the Fighting Maroons team for UAAP Season 86.
Heading into the next season, UP has beefed up its roster with numerous acquisitions left and right and Perasol said their recent moves were not built on momentary interests but from long term scouting.
“This program we’re doing is not built on the spur of the moment. These ideas were planned for over a year. These are not rushed commitments or decisions. They (recruits) know when they were first approached and invited [by the team],” the former UP coach said on Tuesday during an online press conference.
“The way we plan our program is built on coach Gold’s needs.”
PLUS AND MINUS
The Fighting Maroons have already secured five notable names from high school to play in the collegiate ranks next season and the following ones.
In a surprising move, UP locked in the commitment of LeBron Lopez in January. La Salle-Greenhills standouts Luis Pablo, the NCAA Season 98 Jrs. MVP, Seven Gagate and Joshua Coronel also joined the Fighting Maroons after their NCAA stint last week.
Not two days later, the team then locked up Filipino-American bruiser Sean Alter.
What may be seen as “overperforming” in the offseason, Monteverde simply sees it just another “plus and minus” situation, especially with the addition of Gagate and Pablo.
“All this just feels like a plus and minus situation. Last season, Henri (Galinato), Carl (Tamayo) and Zav (Lucero) left and now we have these bigs,” the veteran coach said.
“What’s great here is, they are not the traditional bigs. These are bigs that really play inside and outside. They are very versatile.”
Perasol also said that UP is also preparing for the inevitable departure of players—may it be early or not, like with Carl Tamayo’s move to Japan with two more years of eligibility for the Fighting Maroons.
Perasol said he aims to get ready for more of the same.
“It’s already in our minds, the possibilities of players leaving early. All of that is factored in. What we really want is for us not to get surprised when a player leaves,” he explained.
“We have to be prepared for the eventuality.”
UP finished with an 11-3 record in Season 85 while falling short in the Finals against eventual champion, Ateneo.