‘Gonza' to join high school buddies at UP

CYRIL Gonzales will join his former high school teammates Carl Tamayo and Gerry Abadiano in University of the Philippines.

After playing one season with Mapua in the NCAA, Gonzales can’t wait to run the floor once more with Tamayo and Abadiano once he completes his one-year residency in Season 83 and play in the next UAAP men's basketball tournament.

“Sobrang saya kasi nagkakaintindihan kami sa loob at labas ng court,” said Gonzales.

“Kapag kasama ko silang dalawa, parang alam ko na gagawin ko e. Alam ko na yung role ko sa team at nakakagaan sa loob ko ito dahil hindi ko inaasahan na mag-rereunite rin kami one day,” he added.

Tamayo and Abadiano have committed to play for the Fighting Maroons in a huge recruitment coup last Aug. 1

Last March, Gonzales was supposed to transfer from Mapua to National University and join his former high school mentor Goldwin Monteverde.

“Noong nasa Mapua palang ako kino-contact na ako ng UP. Option ko rin talaga magaral sa UP that time kasi magandang eskwelahan nga tsaka UAAP pero hindi ko pinili kasi nga kinukuha din ako ni coach Gold sa NU kaya ako nag-NU,” said Gonzales.

A starter for the UAAP Season 81 batch of Bullpups that won the championship, Gonzales had a change of heart after Monteverde lef NU without handling a single men's basketball game.

Fortunately for Gonzales, UP had a spot for him.

The Cardinals, with a youth-laden roster which includes Gonzales, missed the NCAA Final Four last year with an even 9-9 record after opening the season with five straight defeats.