AFTER making it to the UAAP Finals last season, University of the Philippines continues to stockpile on talent from the south with the recruitment of former Cesafi Mythical Five forward and ex-Adamson Falcon Conrad Catapusan.
A talented 6-foot-3 forward from Consolacion, Catapusan is the latest player to have ties to either Cebu or the Cesafi to join the Maroons, following in the footsteps of former Cesafi juniors MVP, Janjan Jaboneta, former Ateneo de Cebu forward Pio Longa and ex-University of the Visayas standout Jun Manzo.
After seeing just 10 minutes per outing and averaging a mere 2.4 points and 1.6 rebounds per game in UAAP Season 81, Catapusan felt that it was high time for a change. It was then he asked for help from Cebu-based skills coach Michael Cenabre, who guided him through the process of transferring schools.
“I really did not know why they wouldn’t utilize me over there. Sayang lang if I would stay there and they still wouldn’t use me. I think it would be better if I go to a team where they want me to play,” said Catapusan who made it to the Cesafi’s Mythical Five in 2016 after leading the University of San Carlos to the finals.
Catapusan’s choice was greatly influenced by his parents' wish for him to earn a diploma from UP.
The forward has already been seeing action for the Fighting Maroons in a number of tournaments ever since he made the move to Diliman earlier this month. He shares he feels comfortable with his new surroundings.
“It feels great, feels like home since the coaches are great and helpful. I also have teammates here who I am already close with like Jaydee (Tungcab), Pio, Janjan and Jun who are all helping me learn the system.”
Catapusan shares that he hopes to have a hand in the resurgence of UP’s basketball program, which already flaunts the likes of Gilas cadets Kobe Paras and Ricci Rivero and reigning UAAP MVP Bright Akhuetie.
“It feels like both a privilege and challenge. I must work harder to earn a spot sa roster especially since they already have a very talented team. And of course, it’s a privilege since it’s UP.”