Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netMANILA, Philippines—The most successful batch in University of the Philippines’ basketball history in 32 years was also part of its darker days.Gelo Vito, Diego Dario, and Jarrell Lim all became Fighting Maroons in Season 77, where they finished with a miserable 1-13 record. Captain Paul Desiderio, meanwhile, was part of the Season 76 squad that went an historic 0-14.ADVERTISEMENT Australia appoints 76ers coach Brett Brown for Tokyo Olympics Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim “I think even if we didn’t make the Final Four or finals UP’s still a go-to for freshmen because UP’s still the State University in terms of quality education,” said Dario. LATEST STORIES Chief Justice Peralta vows to lead by example, bares 10-point program PLAY LIST 02:02Chief Justice Peralta vows to lead by example, bares 10-point program01:32UAAP Season 81: Racela says he’ll be ‘surprised’ if Ateneo loses a game in elims00:50Trending Articles02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games MOST READ ‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claims Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. UP standout Paul Desiderio applies for 2018 PBA Rookie Draft You can now mix and match your Bitmoji’s clothing In spite of Washington’s sanctions, Huawei sells more smartphones than ever Palace: Robredo back to ‘groping with a blind vision’ View comments UP narrowly missed the Final Four in 2017 when it took a 6-8 record as the no.5 team.Vito said this steady climb to relevance is all part to UP head coach Bo Perasol’s leadership.“Coach Bo really pushed us to have a mindset that you have to act like winners and practice like winners and we’re thankful that he brought that culture to UP because if it wasn’t for him we wouldn’t be here,” said Vito.Dario added their finals stint was bigger than basketball and that UP will always remain a destination for aspiring Fighting Maroons for solely its education.UP is the country’s premier state university and is often ranked as the best performing school in terms of academics.ADVERTISEMENT Hotel management clarifies SEA Games footballers’ kikiam breakfast controversy Read Next Jordan delivers on promise: 2 Cobra choppers now in PH Nevertheless, the Fighting Maroons are leaving UP as part of history after finishing as the year’s runners-up behind champion Ateneo in Season 81.And those four players, who were wide-eyed youngsters during UP’s dark days, are now the hardened veterans who have been through hell and back.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine football chief“We are just really grateful because we’ve reached a whole new another level because we started always on the losing end, we’re always teased that we’re always losing, and we’ve reached this far,” said Lim after UP’s 99-81 loss in Game 2 Wednesday. “You can’t write a better story than that.”The Fighting Maroons had a steady climb throughout from Seasons 77 to 80 continuously improving their win-loss records every year. For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity.