Pablo, Gagate stay hungry

Luis Pablo is thrilled to lead the UP Fighting Maroons back to UAAP glory. Photo courtesy of NCAA

The towering duo of Luis Pablo and Seven Gagate are determined to lead University of the Philippines to a title in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines men’s basketball tournament.

But the glory is not just for the Fighting Maroons, but for themselves as well.

Pablo, who emerged as Most Valuable Player for La Salle Green Hills in the National Collegiate Athletic Association, said their loss to Letran fired him up, prompting him to give his best when he plays for UP coach Goldwin Monteverde in the seniors’ division.

“We lost to Letran in the finals. We’re now more determined and hungrier to do better because that finals series exposed my weaknesses,” said Pablo, who delivered 20 points and 14 rebounds in the Greenies’ sorry loss in Game 2 of the best-of-three series.

“We’re eager to improve and win. Whatever role the coaching staff wants me to do, I’ll give my 100 percent to it.”

Pablo and Gagate are the latest recruit of the Fighting Maroons together with their teammate Joshua Coronel, Filipino-American slotman Sean Alter and Gilas Pilipinas mainstay Francis Lopez.

Alter, a 6-foot-8 slotman, already left the country after seeing action for Fil-Nation in the National Basketball Training Center National Finals.

He will be back in May after his graduation at Volcano Vista High School in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Gagate said he knows that Monteverde has what it takes to take their games to the next level.

In fact, he is not worried about playing time since his primary concern is his development on and off the court.

“I believe in coach Gold’s program because it has been tested. I also want to enroll here,” said Gagate, whose older brother Shannon played under Monteverde in Chiang Kai Shek in high school.

“I’m not worried about my playing time because I look up to coach Gold and my goal has always to improve and fill the holes left by Carl and Zavier.”

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