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UP pride as Juan GDL, Desiderio included in '23 for 23'

MANILA, Philippines – After years of being mired in the cellar of the UAAP, the Fighting Maroons have begun to bring pride once more to the University of the Philippines (UP).

They took another step forward in the Season 80 men's basketball tournament, winning six of their 14 games. Paul Desiderio established himself as a big-time performer in the clutch, while Juan Gomez de Liaño was the runaway winner of the Rookie of the Year award.

Juan Gomez De Liaño; Paul Desiderio. ABS-CBN Sports
Even in the offseason, Desiderio and Gomez de Liaño continue to make UP proud. Recently, both players were named to the "23 for 23" wish list of Gilas Pilipinas head coach Chot Reyes, and on Monday, they participated in the national team practice for the first time.

"Sobrang saya," said Desiderio, a one-time UAAP Mythical Team member, who was in his hometown of Cebu when he learned that he made it to the national team pool.

"Parang gusto ko na nga bumalik kaagad ng Manila noon," he added.

Author: Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News
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