UP making sure ‘pipeline is covered’

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    KEEPING an eye out on the future.

    That’s how University of the Philippines coach Bo Perasol described the addition of prized recruits Carl Tamayo and Gerry Abadiano to the squad.

    “I would like to believe that both of them are going to be the future pillars of our program.

    Both are skilled, have championship experiences, and (have) great talent,” Perasol told Malaya-Business Insight yesterday.

    “They will both be part of the new blood that is coming in for our team,” he added.

    The 6-foot-7 big man Tamayo and 6-foot guard Abadiano, both former Nazareth School of National University standouts, moved to the Fighting Maroons last Aug. 1.

    Apart from the two Gilas Pilipinas Youth players, the likes of La Salle Greenhills gunner RC Calimag, Xavier’s Miguel Tan, Fil-Am guard Sam Dowd, Fil-Canadians Alonso Tan and Anton Eusebio, and Fil-Australian Ethan Kirkness are among the rookies who can suit up for State U in the 83rd UAAP basketball tournament – if it is held next year.

    Blue-chip cagers Joel Cagulangan of La Salle, Jancork Cabahug of University of the Visayas, and Senegalese slotman Maodo Malick Diouf of Centro Escolar University have also transferred to UP but will have to serve a one-year residency before they could play in the 84th season.

    Perasol, 48, said the Maroons are not “stockpiling” players but are just making sure they will have a deep pool in the future.

    “The recruits are not all eligible for this coming season. Probably half are replacements for those whose playing years are done by next year,” he explained. “We’re trying to make sure that our pipeline is covered.”

    With the lingering health risks and uncertainties brought about by the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic, the UAAP is eyeing to launch its 83rd season, set to be hosted by La Salle, early next year.

    UP reached the Final Four for the second straight year with a 9-5 record after the elimination round in the last UAAP cage wars.

    The No. 2 and twice-to-beat Maroons, however, fell short and bowed to eventual runner-up University of Santo Tomas in their stepladder semifinals battle.