Last season, the UP Fighting Maroons went winless, in part to a series of key injuries to players like Woody Co, Mark Lopez, and Mike Silungan. This upcoming season, the team, armed with a new head coach, was hoping to begin its long crawl upwards from irrelevancy, but that climb now been made more difficult.
Suffice to say, the preseason hasn't even begun, but the team is already suffering from some major injuries.
First of all, the status of Mark Lopez in Season 74 is still unclear. After tearing his ACL and MCL on the same leg, he's optimistic to be ready for July, but the team is strongly considering holding him out a year.
Late last year, the point guard corps of the Maroons was dealt a blow by a separated shoulder injury on junior point guard Mikee Reyes in practice. He might miss next season, or even longer.
Finally, the latest setback to the team, according to the Oblation Nation section of the GameFace Forums, is the ACL-injury of promising rookie big man Raul Sauyod, whom the team had hoped would provide a nice one-two punch along with Alinko Mbah. Instead, odds are the team will once again rely on the underperforming Mark Juruena, and undersized rookie Paolo Romero.
I had originally projected that UP would finish 7th, a step up from last year, but these setbacks have me returning them to last place. For Maroons fans, expect another painful season.