Ex-Maroon Diouf eyes playing in Europe

Ralph Edwin Villanueva - Philstar.com
Ex-Maroon Diouf eyes playing in Europe
Malick Diouf of the Zamboanga Valientes
Philstar.com / Ralph Villanueva

MANILA, Philippines -- Former University of the Philippines Fighting Maroon Malick Diouf said he aims to take his talents to Europe and possibly play with, or against, fellow UAAP big man Ange Kouame.

The former UAAP Most Valuable Player bared his plans ahead of The Asian Tournament, where he will be bolstering the Zamboanga Valientes.

“It depends. Right now, playing pro, but to be honest, I really wanna play in Europe,” the 6-foot-11 big man told reporters during the Valientes’ practice on Wednesday.

“So during the UAAP I got some offers, but I played with a lot of pain. In the second round I had a fracture, but now it’s okay. Hopefully after the tournament I get a chance to go there again,” he added.

Diouf said he is keeping in touch with Kouame, who is playing for the UB Chartres Metropole, and they are in constant contact.

“Hopefully we’re gonna meet there soon.”

Diouf is just one of the big names Zamboanga has for the tournament.

The roster is loaded with Diouf and former FEU Tamaraw Mo Faty, as well as Nick Evans, who reinforced the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters in last year’s Jones Cup.

The team is also loaded with a dash of homegrown talents such as Peter Alfaro, Rudy Lingganay, Mike Tolomia, Job Alcantara, Med Salim, Jerome Ferrer, Joewish Gracia, Franky Johnson, AJ Benson, Das Esa and Denver Cadiz.

Their first game will be against the Ningbo Bulls on Friday in China.

The Senegalese center said that he will be “bringing the winning mentality” he had in his years with the Fighting Maroons.

“Facing people who played like five or 10 years pro is gonna be a good challenge for me. I just go out there to compete, to do my best and help the team especially on defense and offense,” he stressed.

Zamboanga team owner Junnie Navarro said the squad aims to crash into the top four teams of the tournament.

“That is our target, because last year when we played in the ABL, we were in fifth place. We were almost there,” Navarro told reporters in Filipino.

“Now, I am telling them, let us try going into the top four.”

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