ADD another blue-chip prospect to UP's already massive recruiting haul heading into the UAAP's resumption.
The Fighting Maroons are welcoming with open arms do-it-all forward Aldous Torculas, who is staying put in Diliman and spurning offers to transfer to at least two other collegiate rivals.
"Malaki yung impact sa career ko simula nag-UPIS ako. Marami-rami akong natutunan sa coaches and teammates ko kaya napag-isipan kong ituloy-tuloy na hanggang college," he said.
The 6-4 Torculas was a Mythical selection in Season 82 while playing for UP Integrated School after averaging 11.6 points, 15.2 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 2.3 blocks, and 2.3 steals per game.
While his individual numbers didn't translate to team wins as the Junior Maroons trudged through a 1-13 campaign, the potential of his long limbs, athleticism, and hustle was clear as day.
At present, the 18-year-old is a Grade 12 student. That means that if the planned staging of Season 84 in early 2022 pushes through, he will be ineligible.
He, however, will soon start practicing with State U's seniors team in preparation for Season 85 when he will be good to go.
Torculas is the latest addition in an extended offseason that saw Gilas cadet Carl Tamayo, former Batang Gilas players Terrence Fortea, Gerry Abadiano, and RC Calimag, and UST HS bruiser Bismarck Lina, among others, commit to UP.
Overseeing the rebuild are new head coach Goldwin Monteverde and freshly minted program director Bo Perasol.
Other new faces in maroon and white are transferees Henry Galinato (Benedictine University Mesa) and CJ Cansino (UST).
All of them will be tasked to ensure the continued contention of the Fighting Maroons, who are fresh off back-to-back Final Four appearances.
Their homegrown blue-chip prospect, though, has his sights set on something greater.
"Dream ko na rin po kasing mapag-champion ang UP. Sana po," the Malabon native said.
For Torculas, indeed, there was nowhere to go but UP.
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