In an article first published by Spin.ph, Bright Akhuetie (L), Kobe Paras (C), and Ricci Rivero announced their return to the UP Fighting Maroons for another season on Sunday.
Philstar.com/Erwin Cagadas
Perasol unsurprised by return of UP stars
Luisa Morales (Philstar.com) - December 15, 2019 - 2:20pm

MANILA, Philippines — The announcement of the return of UP Fighting Maroon stars Bright Akhuetie, Kobe Paras and Ricci Rivero came as no surprise to head coach Bo Perasol.

The Diliman squad mentor who has brought resurgence to the UP basketball program didn't doubt that the three cagers would choose any different.

"I've known these guys to be fighters and winners," Perasol said in a text message to Philstar.com.

"It didn't come as a surprise to me that their desire was to play again and finish what they've started," he said.

The future became unclear for the UP Fighting Maroons after an early exit in the 82nd season of the UAAP men's basketball tournament.

But in a report first published by Spin.ph, Akhuetie, Paras and Rivero all banished any doubts that they would be leaving the Diliman squad any time soon.

"After our last game, we talked about it and Kobe and Ricci said if I'm game for another season, they would be too," Akhuetie said to Spin.ph.

"So me, no question, I want to come back for another year and have another opportunity to win the championship for UP. Like they say, there's nowhere to go but UP," he added.

Akhuetie, Paras and Rivero were all key to UP's best eliminations run in the UAAP in decades.

Two more of their stars however, Juan and Javi Gomez de Liano, have yet to make their decision.

But three out of five stars going back for another playing year isn't too bad.

Their return, along with the addition of Kobe's father Benjie, Ronnie Magsanaco, Joey Guanio and Xavi Nunag to the coaching staff of the Maroons prove that the Diliman squad may still be as dangerous next year.

BASKETBALL UAAP UP FIGHTING MAROONS
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