UP big man Cheick Kone goes AWOL

WHERE is Cheick Mohamed Kone?

That is the question buzzing around Diliman as the 6-foot-9 Kone has not attended the recent practices of UP, casting a big cloud on his future with the Fighting Maroons.

An unimpeachable source told FOX Sports on Thursday that the French-African center remains a notable absentee in UP’s buildup for the UAAP Season 79 men’s cage wars and has yet to enroll this semester at the Diliman campus.

“He has not been attending the practices of UP and even the coaching staff doesn’t know his whereabouts,” said the source, who is privy to the development but spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Read: UPIS star Javi Gomez de Liaño could be headed for Ateneo, UST

The source added American consultant Joe Ward, assistant coaches Allan Gregorio and Mo Gingerich have been presiding over the Fighting Maroons in lieu of former head coach Rensy Bajar.

Bajar, a former pro who took over the coaching reins from Rey Madrid, guided UP to a 3-11 win-loss record last year, enough for a 7th-place place finish—a far cry from their ambitious Final Four target.

The source also claimed Bajar and Ward weren’t on the same page, a development that caused some confusion among the Fighting Maroons’ preferred plays last year.

Read: UP makes Adamson sweat, but Falcons keep share of lead

In his 14 games with UP, Kone averaged 2.85 points, 6.31 rebounds and 0.85 blocks per game. – By Jerome Lagunzad

Follow this writer on Twitter: @JLFoxSports

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