MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons added talent to their roster by securing commitments from RC Calimag and Anton Eusebio, team officials confirmed to Rappler on Thursday, February 6.
Calimag, a former high school standout from La Salle Greenhills, and Eusebio, a 6-foot-5 slasher from Canada, are both young Gilas prospects who will be eligible to play for the UP men’s basketball team in Season 83 starting this September.
Calimag averaged 20 points, 5 rebounds, and 1.5 assists a game with LSGH in his senior high school campaign. He was spotted training with the La Salle Green Archers in January under new head coach Derrick Pumaren, but ultimately opted to commit to University of the Philippines instead.
“I chose UP because it is one of the top universities in the Philippines and I also believe that their basketball program will give me huge exposure and will help me improve as a player,” Calimag told Rappler in an exclusive interview on Thursday.
Calimag also called it an “honor” to play alongside former LSGH standouts Ricci Rivero and Kobe Paras, both of whom will be his seniors at UP.
“I’m also excited to play with the whole team as well,” added Calimag, who earned a reputation as a knock-down shooter in the NCAA juniors division.
Eusebio, who holds dual citizenship, is an aggressive rim attacker with impressive leaping ability. In his final game in Canada featuring Bishop McNally and All Saints, he went off for a career-high 50 points.
Straight out of high school, Eusebio – whose parents are both Filipinos – has all 5 playing years of eligibility with UP in the UAAP. Likewise, for Calimag.
“Anton Eusebio will be the latest addition to the continuing expansion and strengthening of UP’s basketball program. He decided to play for UP to contribute to the team’s quest for glory in Season 83,” said UPMBT team manager Ags Uvero in a statement.
According to a source, a number of reasons factored in why Eusebio committed to UP, including the school’s reputation as the top academic institution in the country, the improvement of the basketball program in recent years, and the potential of having a successful career even following his playing years.
Calimag and Eusebio are the latest additions to UP’s successful offseason recruitment process. The Maroons have also secured the commitment of Fil-Aussie product Ethan Kirkness and the transfer of former Green Archer Joel Cagulangan and former CEU big Malick Diouf.
UP is losing the services of Jun Manzo, Jaydee Tungcab, Jerson Prado, and Javi Gomez De Liaño – who left the door open for an eventual return – but will retain the likes of Paras, Rivero, and former UAAP MVP Bright Akhuetie for Season 83.
The Fighting Maroons are also scheduled to be in Bicol from February 8 to 13. – Rappler.com