UAAP S77 Preview: UP Fighting Maroons

By Camille B. Naredo,

Posted at Jul 10 2014 04:34 PM | Updated as of Jul 13 2014 12:21 AM

Season 76 record: 0-14 (8th)

Season 76 recap:

It was another lost season for the UP Fighting Maroons, who saw their coach, Ricky Dandan, resign halfway through the season, replaced by Rey Madrid. The change barely created a dent, however, as UP went on to lose all of their games for another 0-14 season.

Losses: Sam Marata, Raul Soyud, Cris Ball, Paul Desiderio, Jason Ligad, Kyle Suarez, Julius Wong, Andre Paras

Holdovers: Kyles Lao, Henry Asilum, JR Gallarza, Agustini Amar, Andrew Harris, Martin Pascual, Moriah Gingerich

Acquisitions: Mikee Reyes, Dave Moralde, Mark Juruena, Diego Dario, Gelo Vito, Jarell Lim, Carlo Escalambre, Darwish Bederi

Season 77 Projection:

It's been said many times that there is nowhere to go but up for the UP Fighting Maroons, and it just may be true this time as the State University now has new management led by Philippine Azkals boss Dan Palami, while the players seem to have completely bought into the system of head coach Rey Madrid.

Madrid famously predicted that the Maroons would not go winless in Season 77, and the players are eager to make a prophet out of their coach. The Maroons have also emphasized that they are tired of being the laughingstock of the league, with returning player Mark Juruena saying they want to prove that they are not a team of losers.

The Maroons do not have an established scorer this year, unlike previous seasons when Sam Marata and Mike Silungan flung shots from the perimeter for the squad. Instead, UP is hoping that last season’s Rookie of the Year Kyles Lao is ready to make the leap, while players like Henry Asilum, the returning Mikee Reyes, transferee Dave Moralde, and rookie Diego Dario are all expected to contribute as well.

It remains to be seen if UP can fulfill Madrid’s promise of three victories, but even without a Marata or a Silungan type of scorer, the Fighting Maroons figure to be more competitive this year, thanks to a more solid squad as well as greater support from their management.

Quote: “I’m sure you guys heard of coach (Rey Madrid) guaranteeing at least three wins, so that’s for sure at the front of our minds. We really just want to come through for Coach Rey this year, and that’s a big part, for him to guarantee and say that we can get three wins, for me I think we can really get that for him… I really just want to come through for him and fulfill his promises to the media and to UP as a whole.” – UP forward JR Gallarza