After playing high school and collegiate basketball in the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi) for seven years, University of the Visayas (UV) Green Lancers forward Jancork Cabahug is finally making the leap to Manila to join the University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons.
Nobody is expecting the transition to be seamless but fortunately for the versatile 6-foot-3 cager, he has a couple of former UV standouts who also made the move to Diliman to help him adjust to the rigors of being a “Isko” student-athlete.
Paul Desiderio, the Liloan-native who helped transform the former fledgling Maroons into the powerhouse basketball program they are today, said that Cabahug has to love the school since the institution will give him the energy and support he needs to push through the tough times.
“Be passionate. You have to love what you do but more importantly the school, kasi yun talaga ang makakapag-push sa’yo kapag nahihirapan ka sa sport (You have to love the school since it’ll help push you forward during the times when you have trouble with basketball),” said Desiderio, who now stars for Blackwater Elite in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA).
A former MVP in the Cesafi’s high school division, Desiderio chose to go to UP back in 2013 and proceeded to make his mark in Diliman, starting with his “Atin ‘to, papasok ‘to” moment in 2017, which saw him utter the now legendary phrase moments before draining the game-winning three-pointer against the University of Santo Tomas.
He also led UP to the UAAP finals in 2018, winning Mythical Five honors along the way.
Another former UV guard who made the leap to Diliman in 2016 was Jun Manzo. The ferocious guard said the Cabahug should pay attention to the coaches’ instructions and just play his game.
“Unang una. makinig siya sa mga coaches niya. Huwag siya mahiya ipakita yung laro niya para makuha niya ang tiwala ng mga teammates at coaches niya (First of all, he should listen to the coaches and not be afraid to play his game),” said Manzo. “Sipagan pa niya lalo at higit sa lahat, magdasal siya sa Panginoon lagi (He should work even harder and most of all, always pray to the Lord).”
Desiderio also had one more piece of advice that Cabahug would do well to heed.
“Magdala siya ng map sa campus kay dako kaayo ang school! (He should bring a map of the school with him since the campus is so massive!)” said Desiderio with a chuckle. (JNP)