CEBU CITY – Add Dave Moralde to the growing list of University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons who trace their roots to Cebu.
In a talk with Spin.ph, Moralde disclosed his father hails from the Queen City of the South, making him one of the certified Cebuanos in the UP roster along with former Philippine Youth team standout Paul Desiderio from University of the Visayas, and ex-Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu stalwarts Henry Asilum, Pio Longa, and Janjan Jaboneta.
The Maroons are currently here for a series of tune-up matches against teams from the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi) as they gear up for the coming UAAP season.
“Actually, my father came from the northern part of Cebu, particularly Tominjao, Daanbantayan. I seldom visit my hometown because of my busy schedule. Although I wish I could visit more often so that I can know my relatives a little bit more and attend family gatherings,” said Moralde.
“Besides, I can understand Bisaya, but I can't speak it,” he added with a hearty laugh.
Moralde brings to the moribund Maroons a winner’s pedigree after playing for the multi-titled San Beda Red Cubs in high school in the NCAA.
He made it to the varsity team of the Red Lions in college, and was even part of San Beda’s so-called ‘Super Six’ when the team beat Arellano University in the opener of the NCAA Season 88 with the benefit of just six players following the suspension of the rest of the team for their roles in a brawl with the San Sebastian men’s volleyball team.
However, Moralde hardly had playing time with the Red Lions owing to their crowded roster in the backcourt position, prompting him to transfer and play for UP in the UAAP.
The lowly Maroons managed to win one game last season, but Moralde feels this year’s team is a lot more competitive.
“The big difference is that we are handled by impassioned coaches who have a wide range of knowledge that can help us improve and work together more effectively as a team,” said Moralde, who averaged 8.6 points, three rebounds, and an assist in a little over 19 minutes of action last season.
"Also, the coaching staff plays a vital role since they are more systematic and have implemented different approaches with regards to defense strategies and offensive plays."
The Maroons came away with an even 2-2 mark in their tune-up games here, although Moralde said the bond they have forged in the tune-up series cannot be quantified by wins and losses.
“Also, in order to form stronger bonds with the people we're playing with, it is very important that we really have to trust each other and treat them like a family,” shared Moralde.
But at the end of the day, Moralde knows the Maroons’ campaign will be judged through their win-loss record and he can only hope to play his part in the team’s bid to change its fortunes this season.
“I really want the Maroons to step up for the upcoming season. All we have to do is to keep winning games because I know we have the potential and we don't want to get stuck at the bottom again.”