Paul Desiderio set to return for final year with UP Fighting Maroons in UAAP Season 81
The Maroons got close to making the Season 80 Final Four, and could be among the contenders anew with Paul Desiderio returning to join Nigerian import Bright Akhuetie. 

UP coach Bo Perasol says Paul Desiderio will play in his fifth and final season with University of the Philippines in UAAP Season 81.

"He committed to play for the team in his last eligible playing season," Perasol said on Thursday.

There was uncertainty over Desiderio’s return when he tweeted "Salamat UP" after the Maroons were eliminated on the final day of the eliminations.

On Wednesday, Desiderio made a hint of his return.

"Isa pa! #AtinToPapasokTo'81," Desiderio tweeted on Wednesday.

Observers believe Desiderio would be a first rounder in a possibly shallow 2018 PBA draft if he skips his fifth and final year with UP in Season 81. UAAP rules state that players have to wait an additional year if they want to turn pro and apply for the PBA draft.

Instead, Desiderio is eyeing one last attempt at the Final Four, teaming up with former Perpetual Help import Bright Akhuetie of Nigeria.

Desiderio played for UP in 2013, skipping the next season to play for Batang Gilas in the 2014 Fiba Under-17 World Championship in Dubai then rejoined the Maroons the following year.

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