THE University of the Philippines Maroons may have endured several losing seasons in the UAAP, but that has not discouraged Diego Dario from staying in Diliman after playing high school for UP integrated School (UPIS).
Dario, a member of the Philippines' Under-17 team, said he is not in any way turned off by the Maroons’ losing record the past few years, saying that he is ‘leaning’ towards playing for State U in college.
The 17-year-old Dario also said he is already familiar with the environment in UP.
“I want to give back to the school,” Dario told Spin.ph. “Siyempre, sanay na ako sa environment sa UP. Since I was in high school, kilala na ako ng mga college coaches. Comfortable na ako sa UP.”
“I’m leaning on UP na,” Dario added.
A member of the Under-16 team that finished second in the Asian championships last year, Dario was the second leading scorer in the juniors division of the UAAP in Season 76 with an average of 19.2 points per outing. The 5-foot-7 point guard also averaged 4.2 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 1.2 steals per game.
Dario is also scheduled to play for the country in this year’s Fiba Under-17 World Championship in Dubai in August.
The Junior Maroons missed last year’s Final Four after finishing with a 4-10 win-loss slate. The college team, however, performed even worse as the Maroons went winless in Season 76.
Even though UP has not reached the Final Four for quite some time now, Dario remained optimistic about the Maroons if he makes it to this year’s UAAP squad.
“I can do it in college basta work hard lang and makinig sa mga coaches,” said Dario, who intends to take up a business course in UP having passed the UP College Admission Test (UPCAT).