UP coach Perasol has high hopes for Jancork Cabahug
Emmanuel B. Villaruel (The Freeman) - August 3, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  The Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation, Inc. (CESAFI) Webinar Series kicked off last Saturday and one of its upcoming guests is Bo Perasol, head coach of the University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP).

Perasol will talk about “The Rise of the UP Men’s Basketball Team” on the August 23 edition of the weekly show that will be streamed live on the CESAFI Facebook page starting at 3 pm.

The topic is but right and timely.

Before Perasol returned to his beloved alma mater on Diliman grounds, the UP Maroons tallied only 13 victories against 113 losses from 2008 to 2015.

But under Perasol’s command, the State U posted a 28-29 win-loss mark from 2016 to 2019 spotlighted by two playoff spots and one Finals appearance.

In the UAAP Season 81 in 2018, Perasol and the Maroons made it to the championship round for the first time in 32 years with Cebuano team captain Paul Desiderio among his star players. Unfortunately, they bowed down to the Ateneo Blue Eagles.

With Cebuano point guard Jun Manzo as floor leader, UP reached the Final 4 in last year’s UAAP Season 82 but got eliminated by the University of Sto. Tomas (UST) Growling Tigers.

Just a few days ago, the name of Perasol popped up in Cebu basketball community after University of the Visayas (UV) Lancers All-Star forward Jancork Cabahug announced that he is changing uniform, from green to maroon.

Cabahug, who won two titles, a consistent Mythical Five member, and an All-Star MVP both in high school and college in his seven years with UV, is one of the six players who departed from CESAFI to seek greener pastures in Manila two months after the league cancelled its 2020 season due to the pandemic.

Cabahug’s fellow All-Star teammate Gabriel Cometa is headed to the San Beda Red Lions in the NCAA.

Nathan Montecillo of the USC Baby Warriors hooked up with UP Integrated School (UPIS) juniors squad, while reigning CESAFI Juniors MVP Leobert Andrew “LA” Casinillo of the SHS-Ateneo de Cebu Magis Eagles, and Vincent Raymund “Soysoy” Escobido and Nichole Jay Cabanero of the Don Bosco Greywolves have committed to the UST Tiger Cubs in the UAAP.

Perasol said he always look up to Cebuano players with high regard and that the 6-foot-3 Cabahug is a welcome addition to the Maroons as they undergo a massive buildup for their UAAP Season 83 campaign next year.

“I can see in him (Cabahug) the same toughness in the Cebuano players I had in my previous teams. You can sense his hunger and drive to prove himself. Those qualities are very crucial in the character of a very good player,” said Perasol, who formerly called the shots for Ateneo before going to UP.

Prior to his UAAP stint, the 48-year-old Perasol once served as head coach of Air21 Express and the Coca-Cola Tigers in the PBA.

Aside from Desiderio and Manzo, the other Cebu cagers handled by the General Santos City-native Perasol in the UAAP were Janjan Jaboneta and Henry Asilum, both from SHS-Ateneo de Cebu.

At UP, Cabahug will be playing alongside his townmates Pio Longa (SHS-Ateneo de Cebu) and Conrad Catapusan (USC Warriors).

Perasol said he couldn’t make any assurance on what he will make out of his prized catch under his watch.

But along with his high hopes for the 21-year-old Cabahug is a piece of advice.

“There are no assurances. What will be given to him is an opportunity to prove himself,” said Perasol. “Jancork has just to live up to what he can do and keep on improving every time.I believe in what he can do. The rest is up to him.”

CESAFI UAAP
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