Bismarck Lina formalized his transfer to the University of the Philippines (UP), becoming the eighth player to bolt out the embattled University of Santo Tomas in the wake of its unlawful training in Sorsogon.
UP head coach Bo Perasol made the confirmation, saying that Lina already joined them Monday afternoon.
He would be part of a star-studded Fighting Maroons squad in Season 84 of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines that will feature fellow transferees Joel Cagulangan, Jancork Cabahug, Maodo Diouf and, of course, CJ Cansino, who blew the whistle on the illegal training masterminded by their former coach Aldin Ayo.
“Bismarck is going to be part of the Season 84 team,” said Perasol, who is looking to lead the Fighting Maroons to their first title since 1986.
“He is a young man with great potential and great fighting attitude.”
Aside from Lina and Cansino, also leaving UST were Rhenz Abando, Ira Bataller and Brent Paraiso, who moved to Letran College, Mark Nonoy and Deo Cuajao, who joined De La Salle University, and Jun Asuncion, who connived with Mapua University.
Perasol said the 19-year-old Lina would be a big help, especially since he served as heart and soul of the UST juniors squad while playing for Gilas Pilipinas Youth in major international tourneys.
“He brings a lot to the table,” he said.
“We’re looking forward to having him.”