MANILA, Philippines -- The University of the Philippines (UP) men's basketball program will have to start again, according to its team manager, after the resignation of head coach Bo Perasol.
Perasol on Wednesday evening confirmed to ABS-CBN News that he is stepping down from his post after a four-season run with his alma mater. His resignation was made official on Thursday morning, explaining that the COVID-19 pandemic has "sadly changed my views, plans and priorities."
"The team still needs better plans as always, and a reboot. I have now decided not to coach for my last season and I have already submitted to UP officials a short list of possible replacements for my position," he added.
Kiko Diaz, the dean of the College of Human Kinetics, said they are now vetting the list submitted by Perasol, and will make a formal announcement on who their next coach will be when the decision is made by the chancellor of UP Diliman.
"We are not just rebuilding, we are really starting again," said Atty. Agaton Uvero, the team manager of the Fighting Maroons.
Perasol had recruited several high-profile players to UP during the offseason, including former University of Santo Tomas star CJ Cansino; former National University high school standouts Carl Tamayo, Gerry Abadiano, and Terrence Fortea; as well Senegalese center Malick Diouf from Centro Escolar University.
In December 2020, the team also announced that Benjie Paras, Ronnie Magsanoc, Joey Guanio, and Xavier Nunag have joined their coaching staff.
The team did lose several crucial players. Jun Manzo and David Murrell are off to the pros, Jaydee Tungcab is now with the Gilas Pilipinas program, while brothers Juan and Javi Gomez de Liano will play in Japan. Kobe Paras has also left to pursue his basketball dreams in the United States.
"Right now, we have less than a handful of players from seasons past in the pool and a lot of young, talented recruits just waiting for their turn to represent our beloved State U," Uvero noted.
They have already asked Perasol to stay with the team in a management capacity while they search for a new coach.
"We will wait for UP's decision on the new head coach of the UP Men's Basketball Team," said Uvero.
UP's new coach will be tasked with continuing the job started by Perasol of elevating their basketball program. In four seasons, Perasol turned the Fighting Maroons around, recruiting big talents and steering the team to its first Finals appearance since 1986.