UAAP Season 82 Preview: Why UP Will Dominate the League
Key Holdovers: Bright Akhuetie, Javi Gomez de Liano, Juan Gomez de Liano, Will Gozum, Janjan Jaboneta, Jun Manzo, Jerson Prado, amd Jaydee Tungcab
Key Additions: J-Boy Gob, Jaybie Mantilla, Kobe Paras, and Ricci Rivero,
Key Losses: Paul Desiderio, Diego Dario, Jarrell Lim, and Gelo Vito
One thing is certain; the Dark Age for the UP Fighting Maroons is all over.
This time, the Diliman-based squad are entering this Season 82 as a championship contender, aside from Ateneo Blue Eagles.
Looking at UP’s current roster, they might have stacked the strongest squad in team’s history, and they will try to capitalize on what they have.
The UP Men’s Basketball Team has become more committed in their international training camps and pocket tournaments.
The Fighting Maroons squad had the opportunity to train and compete outside the country, as they were able to bag a couple of tournament titles in Taiwan and Japan, and they also had the privilege to attend some training camps at Las Vegas.
Thanks to their international exposure, the Maroons were able to form a great team chemistry, which will be needed in their campaign this Season 82.
The Fighting Maroons just completed their “Death Line-Up”.
For starters, the paint definitely still belongs to the reigning UAAP MVP Bright Akhuetie, while Jun Manzo is poised to become one of the best facilitators/playmakers in the league, and they also got Juan and Javi Gomez De Liano who are expected to become premium threats at the perimeter.
Of course, the athletic wing duo of newcomers Kobe Paras and Ricci Rivero will not only enchant us with their astonishing hops, but they will also use their skills to complement the team’s needs on both ends.
It is all up to UP head coach Bo Perasol on how he will face this daunting but fortunate task of balancing and utilizing his Super 6 according to the game plan.
Nowhere To Go But UP
UP has always embraced the underdog mentality, and believe it or not, they will still adapt that kind of mindset.
No one will ever forget the Fighting Maroons’ historic run when they finally earned their spot in the Finals after 32 years, only for Ateneo to spoil their championship aspirations.
Sure, UP is now considered a heavyweight among their competitions, but all of these players still have something to prove not just for themselves but for the team as well.