UNIVERSITY of the Philippines will miss guards Henri Asilum, Paul Desiderio, and Diego Dario during the crucial stretch of Season 77 of the UAAP as the trio see action in two Asian age-group tournaments.
Coach Rey Madrid said the Maroons have given Asilum and Desiderio clearance to play for the Philippines in the Fiba-Asia Under-18 Championship in Doha.
For his part, Dario, an incoming rookie, will suit up for the Fiba-World Under-17 Championship in Dubai where the Philippines is bracketed with powerhouse United States, Angola, and Greece.
The Under-18 tilt will be held from August 19 to 28, while the Under-17 world joust will be on August 8-16, both tournaments coinciding with the schedule of the UAAP basketball tournament.
“We will miss them,” said Madrid, who has guaranteed that the perennial doormats will finish out of the cellar this season. “Committed na sila doon. They will play there.”
Asilum, Desiderio, and Dario could miss at least four games due to their commitment to the national team, according to Madrid.
“A good part of the first round,” said Madrid, when asked how many games they might be without either Asilum or Dario. “Mga apat, lima. Masakit din.”
Madrid said UP is ready for Asilum and Dario’s absence as he has included several guards in the team’s pool including the returning Mikee Reyes and Xavier high school standout Jared Lim.
“That is why nag-shore up ako ng guards. I have four guards because there will be an instance na wala si (Asilum) and Diego Dario,” said Madrid.
“Sa dami ng guards, puwede na akong magtayo ng security agency,” Madrid said in jest.
Due to their lack of ceiling, the Maroons, according to Madrid, will be employing a run-and-gun type of offense for the coming season, the system which he believes will be enough for the school to avoid another cellar finish this year.
The Maroons ended up with a disappointing 0-14 mark in Season 76.