By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
The University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons will be preparing for an intensive training camp in Korea as part of their preparations for a title defense bid in the UAAP Season 85.
UP program director and former head coach Bo Perasol bared the development and said that the team will be leaving the country on August 28.
Upon arriving in Korea, the Fighting Maroons will be having a series of tune-up games against Korean Basketball League (KBL) clubs.
UP will be testing the firepower of Suwon KT Sonicboom, Seoul Samsung Thunders, Changwon LG Sakers, Jeonju KCC Egis, and Ulsan Hyundai Mobis Phoebus.
Aside from gaining an experience from the Korean style of basketball, the Fighting Maroons will also reunite with their UAAP rivals on the court.
Ateneo de Manila Blue Eagles’ swingman and Gilas Pilipinas young cadet William Navarro was acquired by Seoul as their Filipino import while Far Eastern University’s main gunner RJ Abarrientos pledged his services to Ulsan.
Also playing against the Fighting Maroons is former NCAA standout and Filbasket Most Valuable Player (MVP) Justin Gutang who signed with Changwon a month ago.
UP will still be led by its intact core of Carl Tamayo, Zavier Lucero, Malick Diouf, JD Cagulangan, and Harold Alarcon.
However, the Fighting Maroons will be missing superstar CJ Cansino who is still undergoing rehabilitation and treatment in his knee.
According to Perasol, the Fighting Maroons will also be working on its chemistry and cohesiveness after a bunch of new faces will be reinforcing the team once Season 85 kicks off.