Why UP will finally break the league
The University of the Philippines has started their rebuilding process two years ago, and this season might be the “Golden Era” for the Fighting Maroons.
The Diliman-based troops climbed their way from the bottom of the standings ever since, and this time, they are now more than ready to enter the playoffs. The expectations are higher than ever, but the Fighting Maroons have all the tools which will translate into success.
“There is nowhere to go but UP” once again, and here are the reasons why this team will be one of the teams to beat this season.
1.) “Bright” days ahead for UP
UP hit the jackpot when former Perpetual import Bright Akhuetie decided to transfer to their program.
The 21-year-old Nigerian athlete, who finally served his one-year residency, will finally fill in the inside presence that UP badly needed. Akhuetie once dominated NCAA at his young age, and now he’s back in the collegiate basketball after a year of inactivity, more mature and well-rounded. UP will surely enjoy his services.
2.) Fully loaded squad
UP now boasts a plethora of talents in their lineup – something that we have never seen before since Ronnie Magsanoc and Benjie Paras were still donning the Maroon jersey.
Apart from Akhuetie, the UP will tely on their “super six” which consists of Desiderio, Jun Manzo, Gelo Vito, and brothers Javi and Juan Gomez De Llano. Also, they were able to recruit blue-chip prospect Will Gozum, Fil-Am forward David Murrell, and former Adamson slasher Jaydee Tungcab. These solid mixtures of veterans and youngsters will reassure UP’s overall development as a team.
3.) “Atin to pre!”
This was Desiderio’s battle cry during the clutch period became UP’s mantra as well in winning games.
This season, the Fighting Maroons will make sure that they will claim the Final Four spot since 1997. It’s all or nothing for UP, as they have transformed themselves from underdog to an established powerhouse team. UP wouldn’t be complacent despite having a talented lineup, as they are about to win it all.
4.) They still have Plan B
It’s playoff or bust for UP, but if everything still fails they still got their backup players next season.
The arrival of Ricci Rivero and Kobe Paras to Diliman were surrounded by hype. Everyone was excited to see these two high-leaping forwards play together, since they almost have the same playing style. However, they will have to wait for a year from them to be eligible to play for UP. Nonetheless, the Fighting Maroons finally built an upcoming dynasty in UAAP history.
Expect UP to break the league immediately. Sure, it will take some time for them to develop their chemistry, but it is their winning mentality that will propel them to the top. Gone are the days where UP will celebrate every time they win the regular season, because this is a new era where the UP will now have a winning tradition.