The UAAP Season 84 Men’s Basketball Champions, the UP Fighting Maroons, brought their on and off the court prowess to the Province and City of Iloilo for the 4th straight year, displaying their championship stature on July 29 – August 1, 2022.
The Maroons, led by their tactician Goldwyn Monteverde and Director of Basketball Operations, Bo Perasol, kicked off the 2022 Iloilo tour with a courtesy visit to Governor Arthur Defensor Jr. at the Provincial Capitol. Governor Defensor, also a UP alumnus, greeted the team and later hosted the welcome dinner at Tatoy’s Restaurant in Villa, together with the UPV-based organization, the IAmUPHigh. After the warm Ilonggo dinner, the team hit the fitness gym to stay in shape to cap off their first night in Iloilo.
The morning after, the team paid a courtesy call to UPV Chancellor, Dr. Clement Camposano, and held a meet and greet morning for the fans. The UPV fraternity, Validus Amicitia Brotherhood treated the team to a typical Ilonggo inasal lunch at Atria before heading to the first game of the weekend doubleheader in Passi City.
The Diliman based squad was met by a sell-out crowd at the Passi City Arena, as Department of Agrarian Refom Undersecretary, Jesry Palmares together with Passi City Mayor, Atty. Stephen Palmares, decided to make the admission free to the public.
The first match between the selection of Ilonggo collegiate players, reinforced by two foreign athletes, and the UAAP Champions ended with the Maroons winning the ball game.
UP SILAK Brotherhood and SILAB Sisterhood hosted the team lunch at Breakthrough Restaurant hours before the tipoff at the University of San Agustin gymnasium.
Meanwhile, the preliminary game was held in the same venue with the UPV alumni from across batches and organizations playing the friendship game. It was a sight, both nostalgic and in awe, to see UPV’s former students battle it out once more.
In the main game, the Fighting Maroons clobbered the Elite Lab to sweep the Iloilo tour. As a tradition, the match ended with the singing of the UP Naming Mahal with various UP alumni in attendance.
The team proceeded to the UPV City Campus where they had their dinner at the new Little Theater again sponsored by the UP SILAK Brotherhood and UP SILAB Sisterhood, after which they proceeded to light the bonfire, a symbol of excellence.
During their last day in the City of Love, the team held a private practice to ready themselves for different leagues waiting for them in Manila. Afterwards, they visited the Iloilo City Hall to meet with City Mayor Jerry P. Treñas.
The championship team features two Ilonggos, namely their assistant coach, MC Abolucion and their point guard, Gerry Abadiano. A testament to the capabilities of individuals and the strength of UP to gather such talents together not only to win games but to become champions.
The organizing team behind the Iloilo tour, Gametime Sports through its founder Ruding Villaruz, emphasized the importance of provincial trips such as this one to the team while making strides to bring these personalities closer to the fans. (R. Villaruz)