UAAP: UP recruits Gagate, Pablo trust ‘right coach’ Monteverde

Levi Joshua Verora Jr.

Posted at Mar 24 2023 07:55 PM

Luis Pablo and Seven Gagate. From FIBA.Basketball
Luis Pablo and Seven Gagate. From FIBA.Basketball

New University of the Philippines (UP) recruits Seven Gagate and Luis Pablo trust Fighting Maroons head coach Goldwin Monteverde to turn them into even better players.

The twin towers out of La Salle Green Hills, along with teammate Josh Coronel, committed to the Diliman squad last week, shoring up the UP frontline after the departures of Carl Tamayo to the Japan B.League and Zavier Lucero and Henry Galinato to graduation.

“Alam ko na hindi lang sa strengths ko nakatingin sina Coach Gold, sa mga weaknesses rin,” Pablo, the NCAA Season 98 juniors’ basketball MVP, said.

“Sobrang dami kong gustong i-improve pa sa game ko. Alam kong si Coach Gold ang right coach na makakapag-guide and makakatulong sa akin na ma-reach ko pa ang potential ko.”

The 6-foot-7 forward averaged 15.7 points, 12.4 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks per contest, helping the Greenies reach the NCAA juniors’ finals.

Both he and the 6-foot-8 Gagate, who normed 15.6 points, 12.9 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks, made the Mythical 5 selection.

“May trust po talaga (ako) sa program ni Coach Gold kasi alam kong mapapagaling niya ako at siyempre kami… Bilib na bilib ako sa program ni Coach Gold,” Gagate added.

UP basketball program director Bo Perasol reiterated that the school’s recruiting haul isn’t merely about adding pieces to complete their roster; player development is likewise a key focus to ensure the Fighting Maroons have a formidable lineup in the seasons to come.

“Our job in our program is to make sure Coach Gold has the right personnel. Problema niya na ngayon from here on how he’s going to connect each other in our tune-up games, local and foreign training,” Perasol said.

“Lahat ng ‘yan ay being prepared for that ultimate goal of fighting for that championship ring again.”

Earlier in the year, UP also secured the commitment of prolific Gilas Pilipinas teenager Francis “Lebron” Lopez. 

Recently, the team also announced that 6-foot-9 Filipino-American Sean Alter, who saw action for Fil-Am Nation in the NBTC National Finals, is joining the Fighting Maroons.

For Monteverde, the offseason will be a crucial buildup to develop chemistry and come up with the best rotation before the next UAAP men’s basketball tournament unfolds later in the year.

UP lost to Ateneo de Manila University in the Season 85 championship series, just months after winning the Season 84 crown and ending a long 36-year title drought.

“Right now, we’re doing our best para mabuo ulit ang team,” the mentor said. “Alam naman natin na (isa) sa mga solution doon is to recruit, but also siyempre, there is a process how to build chemistry and prepare really well (to try and get) that championship this coming season.”