By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
Another young gun just left the University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons basketball program.
Luis Pablo, one of their prized recruits during the past UAAP off-season, will no longer continue his sophomore year with the Fighting Maroons after transferring to the De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Archers.
The development was confirmed last February 12, 2024, days after the announcement of fellow recruit Chris Hubilla that he will be parting ways with the Fighting Maroons to join the Colegio de San Juan de Letran Knights in the NCAA.
After a dominant NCAA high school juniors’ basketball campaign with the La Salle Greenhills, Pablo was expected to become one of UP’s core forwards in the next UAAP seasons.
However, the former NCAA Season 98 juniors’ Most Valuable Player (MVP) failed to crack the starting rotation of UP head coach Goldwin Monteverde when the past UAAP season kicked off.
Pablo saw himself fighting for a spot in the star-laden frontcourt roster of the Fighting Maroons that had former season MVP Malick Diouf, Sean Torculas, Mark Belmonte, Sean Alter, and Francis Lopez.
Aside from them, Pablo also competed minutes with his former high school teammate at La Salle, Seven Gagate.
Pablo was activated during the mid-season when he started some games for the Fighting Maroons but had an inconsistent playing time up to the UAAP Finals.
Before arriving at UP, Pablo was a force to be reckoned with at the high school level when he averaged 15.7 points, 12.4 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 1.1 blocks per game.
In his rookie year with the Fighting Maroons, Pablo’s numbers dropped drastically as he only tallied 1.5 points and 1.75 rebounds per game.