Rough start for Bo Perasol, UP

If their performance in a 61-73 setback dealt by Perpetual Help in the 2016 Filoil Flying V Preseason Premier Cup on Wednesday is any indication, newly-appointed University of the Philippines coach Bo Perasol knows he has a tough work cut out for him.

But Perasol, 44, is not one to shy away from the big challenge staring the Fighting Maroons down ahead of the UAAP Season 79 men’s basketball tournament that gets going in September.

“I told them that this is going to be a process,” he said during the post-match interview at the Filoil Flying V Centre media room after absorbing a rude coaching debut inflicted by the Altas, who gave former import-turned-coach Nosa Omorogbe a solid start in charge.

“We don’t have the intention of trying to win now. Parang we’re just going through the motion. And that’s understandable. It’s going to take a lot of time para mapalitan ang isip nila,” added Perasol, who started supervising the team’s practice last Monday.

“In the end, we need to understand the pains of the process. They need to understand that it’s not going to be easy. It’s not going to be like because there’s a new system, new coaches, it’s going to be different right away.”

A former coach in the pro ranks who also handled Ateneo in the last three years, Perasol said he is urging the Fighting Maroons to take note of “the little victories” that could inspire them to embrace the winning attitude immediately.

“We have to count and specify kung saan kami nananalo. Dapat binibilang ‘yung mga little victories disregarding the score para maisip nila na ‘Kaya rin pala natin’ without making any excuse,” he said.

Although they were outplayed and outhustled by the dominant Altas, led by Nigerian imports Bright Akhuetie and Prince Eze, in nearly all departments, Perasol couldn’t care less, knowing he and the Fighting Maroons intend to look at the “bigger picture.”

“In the first place, we’re going to be inferior in terms of personnel. Kulang kami sa laki at ‘yung mga players na kailangan pang ma-train to a higher level,” he noted. “Kaya gusto ko mangyari ito, parang mayroon kaming scrimmage. Matatalo at matatalo kami but we’re looking at the bigger picture.”

While holdovers Diego Dario, Paul Desiderio, Dave Moralde and Henry Asilum showed a glimpse of what they’re capable of, Perasol was also pleased with how the likes of unheralded Noah Webb, Pio Longa, African import Lionel Tekaoudjou and big man Andrew Harris performed in limited stints as he utilized all his 17 players at disposal.

“‘Yun ‘yung mga bagay na mayroon rin ako ngayon. Align kami sa gusto kong mangyari pero gusto ko rin maging aggressive sila. Skilled pero agresibo. Hindi naghihintay,” he said. – By Jerome Lagunzad

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