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Perasol welcomes former Maroons to UP coaching staff

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The UP Men’s Basketball Team (UPMBT) will be boosting its coaching staff with four former UP Fighting Maroons as part of its efforts to continue the upward trajectory of its program and win its first University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) men’s basketball championship since 1986.

This according to UPMBT Head Coach Bo Perasol, who said he welcomed the additions of fellow UP alum Ronnie Magsanoc, Benjie Paras, Joey Guanio, and Xavier Nunag, “four outstanding basketball minds who have selflessly agreed to help the team.”

“The track records of these coaches speak for themselves. They bring with them years of experience as both player and coach––and we believe that with them on board they will be tremendous assets to the program,” said Perasol, who guided the Maroons to two straight Final Four appearances and a finals berth in his four years with the team.

Magsanoc, a member of the UP squad that last won the championship, said he was excited about the opportunity to bring another championship to UP.

“If you see how the UP community has come out in support of the boys the past few years, you can’t help but feel that they really deserve it. Kaya marami talagang gustong tumulong sa team,” said Magsanoc, who together with teammate Paras were named among the Philippine Basketball Association’s (PBA) 25 greatest players.

According to Renan Dalisay, a member of the UPMBT management team and the founding chairman of NowheretogobutUP Foundation, “UP recognizes that a winning program benefits from continuity, and at the same time acknowledges that we have to continue to find ways to improve––because the other teams are also improving.”

“Under Coach Bo, the team has won more games with each passing season. Our goal when we hired him was to build a winning culture and compete in the Final Four by his third or fourth year with the team,” explained Dalisay.

“Kung tutuusin, we are ahead of schedule because last season, we finished third after the eliminations, and we finished second after the eliminations this year, and even surprised everybody by going to the finals last year,” he added.

“That being said, ultimately our objective is to win a championship––and we believe the addition of these coaches will bring us one step closer to that goal.”

Magsanoc has had coaching stints with Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) teams like Purefoods and the Meralco Bolts. He coached the San Beda Lions to a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) championship in 2013.

Paras is the first PBA player to win both Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player of the Year awards in the same season, and served as assistant coach with the San Beda Red Lions and Hapee Toothpaste of the PBA D-League.

Guanio, another member of the 1986 UP championship team, has likewise served as assistant coach in the UAAP and the PBA D-League, with the National University Bulldogs and Hapee Toothpaste, respectively.

Nunag is the youngest of the four new faces, and has had stints as assistant coach in the PBA (Meralco Bolts, Purefoods), PBA D-League (Hapee Toothpaste), and the NCAA (San Beda Red Lions).