Henry Galinato Jr. has finally come home to University of the Philippines, experiencing his first taste of action when he took the court against De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde, Wednesday.
The wide-bodied 6-foot-6 banger should have played for the Fighting Maroons in the last season of the UAAP. Instead, though, he opted to sit out his one-and-done eligibility since he wanted to get a better grasp of coach Goldwin Monteverde’s system.
“My reason was that I just wanted to sit out for so long, and I haven’t played organized basketball really like the year I came out here.
“So, I just wanted to get Coach Gold’s system, which I heard is a good system, and I just want to learn from him,” admitted the product of Benedictine Mesa.
Nonetheless, he admitted that one of his primary reasons for sitting out is that he wanted to play this one-off season with UP with UAAP Season 84 Mythical Team member Zavier Lucero.
“And I just want to play my last year with my good buddy.”
Galinato felt glad to learn in that one year with the team that coach Monteverde makes good use of his forwards and centers in the scheme of things on both sides of the court.
The 24-year-old prospect shared, “He’s really big on like big men. So, I feel like I would benefit a lot and I can contribute to the offensive line — and not just on offense, but like on defense, too. But, you know the stuff that he does helps me help save the team. So, anything I can do like boxing out.
“It’s a really good system for big men.”
Galinato Jr. flaunted those learnings when he donned the UP colors for the first time. And he was just a picture of enjoyment of finally being able to show up. He tallied 16 points on 8-of-10 shooting from the field with nine rebounds in just 15 minutes of game time.
The Delano, California-born standout said, “I felt really good. I haven’t played for a year-and-a-half and it feels amazing to play again.
“I felt like I could have [done better]. You know, my conditioning is not as good as I wanted to, but I felt I played decent for my first game,” he admitted.
However, when Galinato finally gets back to his better-conditioned self, he said that he will do everything to help the Fighting Maroons get that ultimate goal in the coming UAAP season.
“Expect me to help win that championship. That’s what I plan to do.”
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