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    Former UP forward Will Gozum left in awe by Maroons strength

    Aug 4, 2022
    Will Gozum
    The Maroons prove too much for Will Gozum and the Blazers.

    WILL Gozum has no regrets after his short stint with University of the Philippines and says he is proud to see how far the men's basketball program has gone since he was in Diliman.

    Facing his old alma mater for the first time since moving to St. Benilde, the 6-foot-7 forward was just in awe of the strength of the Fighting Maroons.

    See Red-hot UP rips St. Benilde by 56 to stay perfect in Filoil

    "Sobrang lakas nila. Sobrang grabe. Buo yung puso nila eh, gusto nila laging manalo talaga eh," he said as St. Benilde was on the receiving end of a merciless 56-point rout from UP, 117-61, on Wednesday in the Filoil EcoOil Preseason Cup.

    Gozum had 17 points, two rebounds, and two assists, not enearly enough against the reigning UAAP champions.

    "Di ko alam kung ano mafe-feel ko pero kasi di ba ang laki ng lamang sa amin ng UP? Pero happy ako dahil nakita ko yung improvement ng UP talaga, and isang karangalan na makalaban yung UP kasi champion sila sa UAAP. Binigay nila yung best nila sa amin at marami kaming natutunan sa kanila," he said.

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    Gozum spent two years mired on the bench of the Fighting Maroons watching as the likes of Bright Akhuetie, Kobe Paras, Ricci Rivero, and brothers Juan and Javi Gomez de Liano spearheaded the attack for the crew as he barely saw any action back in UAAP Season 82 in 2019.

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    Now UP has Carl Tamayo, Zavier Lucero, Malick Diouf, and JD Cagulangan leading the way in the bid for back-to-back UAAP crowns.

    Gozum believes his choice to change addresses was the right decision, and he wound up earning a spot in the NCAA Season 97 Mythical Team with averages of 13.3 points, 11.0 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks.

    "Masaya naman ako sa nangyari and wala naman kailangang i-blame don. Masaya ako sa naging kinalabasan ng laro ko kasi alam ko naman na trinabaho ko yun," he said.

    Gozum's focus now is on the Blazers and he believes that this brush against a powerhouse like the Fighting Maroons can only expose the improvements that the team can work on in the leadup to NCAA Season 98.

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    "Sobrang happy ako dahil doon at nakita namin yung mga kulang namin," he said.

    "Madami pang bago sa amin so kailangan talaga naming mag-jell agad. Goal namin is makapag-Final Four and hopefully Finals kaya gagawin namin yung best namin to jell as a team and yung chemistry namin mabuo talaga. Kaya every training, pinupush namin sila. Iba rin talaga pag sa game na eh so hopefully, maayos namin yung attitude ng isa't isa." Ian Dominic Carballo

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    The Maroons prove too much for Will Gozum and the Blazers.
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