THE UNIVERSITY of the Philippines Maroons are set for training in Las Vegas, Serbia and Taiwan in preparation for UAAP Season 82.
The Fighting Maroons leave for Las Vegas next week before joining the Buddha Light International Association Cup in Kaohsiung, Taiwan in the middle of July, then wrap up their offseason training in Serbia.
"It will definitely help a lot," said Juan Gomez de Liano on Thursday during the team's partnership signing with PayMaya at Launchpad in Mandaluyong.
"As you saw last year, it's a big help for us not just to develop our skills, but also help us in our team bonding."
UP trained in Las Vegas in 2016 and finished sixth with a 5-9 win-loss card. The following year, the Fighting Maroons set up camp in Serbia and went on to reach the finals for the first time in 32 years.
"Yung team bonding talaga, importante yan na mabuo dito sa mga biyahe namin kasi kung individual lang, mananalo kami ng games pero para mapanalunan mo yung championship, dapat buo kami," said senior Jun Manzo.
The team leaders particularly have their eyes set in the BLIA Cup in Taiwan which, to Gomez de Liano, will be UP's gauge on the level of their preparedness.
"We could gauge ourselves there on how prepared we really are for the upcoming season. We're looking forward to it," he said, with the Fighting Maroons eyeing to fully integrate highly-touted newcomers Kobe Paras and Ricci Rivero into the fray.
"We just try to guide them, help them fit in the system," observed Gomez de Liano. "They're doing a great job jelling with the team and they're willing to do whatever it takes to help the team."
"It takes time to build up chemistry, but when the season starts, I think we'll be good."