AS the University of the Visayas cried foul with the loss of key players, so did University of the Philippines over allegations of player poaching.
Newly-installed Maroons head coach Bo Perasol said Green Lancers standouts Jun Manzo and Leonard Santillan simply showed up in practice and asked to join.
Perasol noted the two players have yet to officially make it to the Maroons roster and would have to be given the green light by the Green Lancers.
“I’m hoping they can be part of the program but it still has to go through the proper channels. It has to have the go signal from both UP and UV," said Perasol.
"I’ve already informed our management team headed by Dan Palami that I am very interested in getting these two guys but the challenge now is how to convince UV to let them go. All things being equal, I would want them to be with the Maroons but it would be better if they left with UV’s blessings.
Perasol, who returned to UP where he played in college after a three-year coaching stint at Ateneo, insisted there was no plan on their part to pirate the two Cebu-based players.
“I just want to put things in the right perspective. We did not poach players. We do not want people to think that UP is just getting players from different programs and not developing its own. As a coach, I also do not want to run over programs that have invested a lot in their players,” said Perasol in his native Bisaya.
It is not the first time a Cesafi team lost players to Manila-based teams. Last year, University of Cebu lost Darren Shane Menina transferred to the Mapua Cardinals last year without the school's blessing.
Manzo and Santillan arrived one day together with UP Maroon Paul Desiderio, and asked if they could join practice.
While he was already familiar with the 6-foot-4 Santillan, who he had already scouted while he was still coaching Ateneo, it was the first time he saw Manzo play.
One practice was all it took to make Perasol a believer.
“I was really impressed with (Jun) Manzo in practice, very mature maglaro,” said Parasol.