Paul Desiderio is first Maroon in a decade to make Mythical Five, but he eyes bigger prize for UP
Paul Desiderio became the first UP Maroons player to be part of the Mythical Five since Marvin Cruz back in 2006. Jerome Ascano

PAUL Desiderio became the first University of the Philippines cager to be named to the UAAP Mythical Five  in 10 years since Marvin Cruz bagged the same honor in Season 69.

But while he was honored with the recognition, Desiderio said he is after a bigger accomplishment for the entire Fighting Maroons for next year.

“Hindi pa ako satisfied sa award na ‘to,” said Desiderio, who joined MVP Ben Mbala, Jeron Teng, Thirdy Ravena, and Raymar Jose in the league's Mythical Team in Season 79.

“Before ako umalis ng UP, gusto ko makapasok kami sa Final Four. Hopefully, next year, makapasok kami.”

The third year guard out of Cebu averaged 15.4 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 2.6 assists in an impressive season that saw the Maroons contend for a Final Four berth up to the late stages of the tournament.

Desiderio said Season 79 was a memorable one for the Maroons, thanks to the leadership of Jett Manuel, who played his final year with UP this year.

“Napakaganda kasi ‘yung leadership ni Jett kasi siya ‘yung nag-lead sa season na ‘to. Parang pangkumpiyansa sa next season,” said Desiderio.

With Manuel now graduating, Desiderio is seen as the new leader of the Maroons, but the Cebuano hotshot said he still has a lot to improve on in terms of his leadership skills.

“Kulang pa sa experience,” said the third-year guard. “Siguro maglalaro pa ako sa D-League kasi gusto ko kumuha ng experience para madala ko next season.”

Follow the writer on Twitter: @reubensports