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Perasol grateful to see Monteverde finish what his UP team started


When coach Bo Perasol returned to his alma mater six years ago, a cultural revolution had started in Diliman.

“Thirty years” has been a recurring phrase during that time – how long since the University of the Philippines was on a slump.

However, as then-team captain Jett Manuel put it, “Change was evident.”

Drastic changes took place at the onset. The Fighting Maroons won five games in its first season with Perasol.

UAAP-78-UST-vs.-UP-Manuel-layup Perasol grateful to see Monteverde finish what his UP team started Basketball News  - philippine sports news

Six wins the following year.

UAAp-80-mens-Basketball-UP-FEU-Desiderio-2179 Perasol grateful to see Monteverde finish what his UP team started Basketball News  - philippine sports news

Nine wins, a twice-to-beat advantage, a first-ever Final Four appearance since 1997. Then an eventual first Finals appearance since 1986, in Season 81.

UAAP-81-ADMU-vs.-UP-G2-Juan-Gomez-de-Liano-0972 Perasol grateful to see Monteverde finish what his UP team started Basketball News  - philippine sports news

Truly, something different happened and it was just a matter of time for UP to end not just 30 years, but 36 years and counting.

Perasol, though, had to make the biggest decision of letting go of the coaching job in lieu of the program director position. The former Fighting Maroon himself eventually handpicked his successor to continue this uprising for the university’s men’s basketball program.

Nineteen games after in this very special UAAP Season 84, all of this change boiled down to ending the count and the drought at 36.

UAAP-84-MBB-ADMU-vs.-UP-Finals-G3-4222 Perasol grateful to see Monteverde finish what his UP team started Basketball News  - philippine sports news

“Well, I know coach Gold (Monteverde) is one with me when we say that we are giving glory to God for this victory, for this championship.” the longest-tenured UP coach in the past two decades said.

Perasol gave much credit to first-year head coach Monteverde. He said, “And lagi sinasabi ng tao na ‘pag deciding game, it’s all about heart or it’s all about the games of the players. But, I would like to add the brilliance of coach Gold into that.

“Hindi lamang ‘yung mga fight nung players ang mga nangyari dun sa championship na ‘to, kung hindi yung composure at tsaka ‘yung wisdom ni coach Gold in leading his team, in leading our team.”

“Walang bibitaw” has been an echoing mantra in the team right now. And for Perasol, it starts with how Monteverde showed his never say die spirit as well.

“He did not give up. He was a picture of calmness at nakita ‘yun ng mga players, and they just followed him. Yun lang naman ang importante, but saying that to end this 36-year championship drought, it’s really sweet.”

Perasol also knew very well that champion teams are not built overnight, and for a state university at that, it was doubly, if not triply hard. As the Fighting Maroons produce the wins, the support followed both morally and financially.

“Sabi nga nila ‘yung public school naman ngayon ang magcha-champion. UP naman.

“We just want to enjoy this moment, kasi minsan kanina pa iniisip namin, parang pa’no ba nangyari yon? Hanggang ngayon, hindi pa namin naiisip pa kung paano? So, we just have to digest everything, but we’re very thankful that this happened,” he said.

#ReadMore  Kai Sotto watches Ateneo-UP game

Finally, University of the Philippines is back at the pinnacle of UAAP men’s basketball. And this championship had the power of uniting a diverse UP community.

UAAP-84-Mens-Basketball-Ateneo-vs-UP-Monteverde-scaled Perasol grateful to see Monteverde finish what his UP team started Basketball News  - philippine sports news

Perasol said, “Yeah, alam naman natin how politically-wired the UP community is, and how divided it is. Pero, pag dating sa basketball, nagiging isa ang UP community, and we’re just fortunate to give them this respite sa mga nangyayari, pandemic. Sa mga nangyari politically sa ating bayan, and we’re just happy, and we’re joyful to give a sort of entertainment, and for a long time they would be proud.”

He added, “Sabi ko nga sa kanila kahit, kanina nag-uusap kami ni coach Gold ang sinasabi ko sa kanya, alam mo nagbibigay ng stress sa amin, is mabigay ‘yung gutom, yung gutom ng community for the longest time na inaasam nila, and eto nga nabigay na natin sa kanila itong championship na ito. Para bang naka isa na tayo, bahala na ‘yung sa mga susunod na taon di ba?

“Basta, ito naibigay na natin na ibsan natin ‘yung kanilang gutom for 36 years. Sana naman di abutin ng another 36 years. So, yeah we’re really truly blessed to have this championship with Coach Gold.”

All UAAP games stream live on GigaPlay presented by Yamaha. Download it now on Android or IOS.SMART-x-Yamaha Perasol grateful to see Monteverde finish what his UP team started Basketball News  - philippine sports news

Grew to appreciate various sports from tennis to judo. True-maroon kiddo since the new millennium. Fanboy. Singer. Occasional sports writer.


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