CEBU CITY — Just how much faith did University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons team manager Jonvic Remulla have in the team?
Back in January of this year, Remulla said he told Ateneo backer Manny V. Pangilinan that the Maroons would be meeting the Blue Eagles in the Season 81 men’s basketball finals.
The former Cavite governor shared that he got a snicker and a smile from the passionate businessman and sports patron back then.
Ten months later and the two personalities met again, only this time, it was in collegiate basketball’s biggest and brightest stage.
“I really saw that it would come to this. I was very confident that the program we put in place was good, that we put the right people in place, and have the right players,” shared Remulla during a recruitment trip to Cebu.
Fellow patron Patrick Gregorio and Fighting Maroons players Juan and Javi Gomez de Liano, Kobe Paras and Ricci Rivero joined Remulla in the trip.
“I told Manny V. Pangilinan in January 2018, ‘Sir we’re going to meet each other in the finals.’ Then when we finally saw each other again during the finals, I repeated that to him and he told me that this is the new rivalry,” added Remulla.
Remulla was just a freshman when UP last won the UAAP basketball title. It took 32 long years for the Fighting Maroons to make a return trip and the sportsman said it was well worth the wait.
“This is different because the entire country was behind the team. That felt really nice and really different and I think that was good for Philippine basketball,” Remulla said.
“Nakakataas ng balahibo. It was explosive for the country, it moved the country, the story, the narrative, the drama that the team went through, it ignited the country’s imagination!” he added.