UNIVERSITY of the Philippines' future will remain bright even after the graduation of Bright Akhuetie next year.
Maodo Malick Diouf is set to transfer to Diliman, giving the Fighting Maroons their center for the future.
Sources bared Centro Escolar University has formally agreed to let the 20-year-old center transfer after Diouf met with officials from UP and its main backer NoweheretogobutUP two weeks back.
Akhuetie arrived in Diliman under more or less the same circumstances after a couple of seasons with Perpetual in the NCAA. He and fellow stars Kobe Paras and Ricci Rivero have committed to play for the Maroons next season.
The 6-foot-11 Senegalese is a workhorse, quickly establishing himself as a cornerstone for the Scorpions following the graduation of longtime slotman Rod Ebondo.
Diouf posted 16.7 points on 46-percent shooting, 19.5 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 2.9 blocks, 2.0 steals in CEU's runner-up finish in the 2019 PBA D-League Aspirants' Cup as he kept his side afloat and put a gallant stand against eventual champion Cignal-Ateneo.
What made that performance more impressive was the Scorpions playing undermanned come playoff time after losing almost half of their players on game-fixing allegations.
He continued that stretch, leading the Derrick Pumaren-coached Scorpions to the NCRAA title before finishing in the semifinals of the 2019 UCBL season with averages of 18.0 points, 15.9 rebounds, and 3.0 blocks.
Diouf will serve a one-year residency and will be cleared for action come UAAP Season 84 in 2021 as he'll only have three playing years in the league.