Reigning UAAP champion University of the Philippines shifts its preparation for the upcoming Season 85 to a higher gear when it flies to South Korea to play a series of tuneup games against professional teams playing in the Korean Basketball League.

Photo from UAAP

Program director Bo Perasol confirmed the development to Manila Bulletin as the Fighting Maroons eye a two-week camp, which will be backed by JJ Atencio of Januarius Holdings, from Aug. 28 to Sept. 10.

Perasol said they are still in the middle of securing their players’ visa although UP is already scheduled to test its mettle against Suwon KT Sonicboom, Seoul Samsung Thunders, Changwon LG Sakers, Jeonju KCC Egis and Ulsan Hyundai Mobis Phoebus.

The Maroons are also expected to take on some of the familiar faces in the KBL with Filipino imports in the likes of Will Navarro of the Thunders, Justin Gutang of the Sakers and RJ Abarrientos of the Phoebus.

“Mga pro teams ang kalaban namin, kapag wala kaming kalaban magti-train kami. Tuneup games, tamang tama din iyon kasi medyo malalakas ‘yon so importante iyon sa preparation namin for the UAAP,” said Perasol.

He also revealed that the overseas training for the Fighting Maroons was initially set in either Australia or Serbia but both were deemed not feasible due to the visa problems and the current situation in Europe.

“Last talaga naming option ang Korea, kasi ang una talaga naming option was to go to Australia, kaya lang medyo matagal yung processing ng visa. Sa Serbia naman, medyo kaunting yung seats kasi medyo magulo dun ngayon dahil sa Ukraine and Russia,” said Perasol.

Perasol added the team is looking at playing at least eight games during the trip, with Gilas standout Carl Tamayo, Zav Lucero, JD Cagulangan, among others, expected to banner UP.

Source: Manila Bulletin (