MANILA, Philippines—Bo Perasol is leaving his fate up to the University of the Philippines (UP) administration, after he failed to lead the Fighting Maroons to the finals of the UAAP Season 82 men's basketball tournament.
The Fighting Maroons finished the elimination round with a 9-5 win-loss record, good for the second seed. But they faltered in the stepladder semifinals against a tremendous University of Santo Tomas squad, which beat them in two straight games.
Their elimination was painful: UST got a booming 3-pointer from Renzo Subido with 23 seconds to go to take the lead for good, and the Tigers went on to claim a 68-65 win.
"I don't think there's something (that) went wrong in our campaign. There were bad breaks," said Perasol after the game.
"We could've won that game (vs UST) and nobody's going to ask me, if have won that game seconds to go, no one is going to ask me about the future of the team."
As for his own future, Perasol was non-committal.
"Ang UP kasi, yearly nag-a-appoint 'yan. So it really depends on the administration," he explained.
Perasol is the first to admit, however, that he is ready for a break.
"For me, kung tatanungin mo ako, gusto ko nang magpahinga sa mga ganito, gusto ko na lang manood," he said.
"I have to talk to them," he added. "I have to make a decision also, kung ano 'yung mga magiging direksyon ko personally and the direction of the team."
Whether he stays or goes, Perasol said it is crucial for UP to continue to progress. When he took over in 2016, he led the Fighting Maroons to a 5-9 record in Season 79, and to a 6-8 record the next year. They broke through in Season 81, making the finals for the first time in more than 30 years, then claimed the second seed this year, a first for UP in the final 4 era.
"We have put a (bar), na sana naman 'wag na bumaba. And the strength of our program shouldn't be based on personality. Ibig sabihin, hindi dahil and'yan ako, and'yan lagi," said Perasol.
"Ang gusto ko, 'yung program namin na inumpisahan, should be parang Ateneo, La Salle, kahit sinong and'yan, malakas," he added. "Hindi 'yung bumababa."
"I would want this program to start from where we ended up. Not start from the bottom again. We need to start from here, on top."
Perasol compiled a 28-28 record in his four years with UP, leading them to the Finals in Season 81 where they lost to the Ateneo Blue Eagles in a sweep.
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