THE future looks bright indeed for the University of the Philippines with Bright Akhuetie committing to play for the Maroons.
But while for the Nigerian to be eligible, the Maroons can pin their hopes on Paul Desiderio.
So said former UP standout Jett Manuel, who stressed that Desiderio has all the qualities to take over as the Maroons' leader beginning next season.
"He's a great player. I know he'll live up to expectations," said Manuel, who received a Super Senior trophy during the Collegiate Basketball Awards on Friday night.
"He's a hard worker. In terms of leading the team, Paul's the right guy naman, right fit."
Desiderio was quick to play down the praise, saying it's UP coach Bo Perasol's call.
"Ako ba? Depende kay Coach Bo yun, siya talaga nakakaalam ng lahat. Hindi naman pwedeng sabihing ako na," Desiderio, who received a Breakout Player award, said.
But Desiderio is ready if given the chance.
"Sana nga no, hopefully, mabigay ko yun sa team. Kasi I think ako na pinakabeterano sa UP so hopefully, magandang season mapakita namin," he said.
He's getting a lot of practice in the role as team captain of Cafe France in the PBA D-League.
"Sa ngayon, ready na ako kasi tine-train na rin ako ni coach Egay (Macaraya). Team captain ako ng Cafe France so ready na ako sa role na yan," he said.