U.P. Maroons eye multiple overseas training camps for Season 83
MANILA, Philippines – Since failing to meet lofty expectations in UAAP Season 82, the UP Fighting Maroons have been hard at work ever since to bounce back.
In the months following their unceremonious exit at the hands of eventual finalist UST Growling Tigers, the Bo Perasol-coached team laid out the groundwork for multiple overseas training camps, including Australia, Serbia, and Taiwan.
"Off-season training is going to be the baseline of how you will do in the regular season. So, whatever it is that you do in the off-season is going to dictate what your season is going to be," said Perasol. "The plans are already in place, but they all depend on how fast this [COVID-19] virus thing is going to go away."
"We are going to train and play in Melbourne, Australia, as well and we’re also supposed to go to Taiwan. But we’re still on the lookout for more training opportunities that will make us experience a highly competitive tournament before the UAAP starts," he added.
Training has since ramped up following the stunning exit of homegrown cogs Juan and Javi Gomez de Liano, who have decided to sit out Season 83 in order to focus on their duties for Gilas Pilipinas.
Now the heavy burden of lifting the team rests on the shoulders of Mythical Team selections Kobe Paras, Ricci Rivero, and the Season 81 MVP, Bright Akhuetie.
To make sure the team adjusts accordingly, Perasol placed stronger emphasis on training with international standards in place.
"The countries we go to are usually places where basketball is big. The development there is way ahead of us, so that is where we benefit from new technologies, new advancements, new ideas, new ways to train," Perasol said.
"Besides looking for training opportunities, we also look to compete in pocket tournaments here and abroad to give us different points of view, a different experience and different kinds of play."
The team initially planned to join the 2020 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup, but ultimately backed off due to multiple conflicts with class and game schedules.
The Maroons, however, still plan to take part in the Fil-Oil Pre-Season Tournament in May and defend their title in the upcoming BLIA Cup in Taiwan this July. – Rappler.com