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Lopez commits to UP

CARL Tamayo might have left UP for Japan's B.League but not without him netting a big fish for the Fighting Maroons.

The two-time UAAP men's basketball Mythical Team member keyed Francis “Lebron” Lopez's move from Ateneo to UP. The news broke out on Saturday night.

Lopez himself said this in a video posted by Nowhere To Go But UP Facebook page on Sunday.

“Last month, he texted me on Viber to say 'Dito ka na sa UP.' And you know, I just decided that I want to go to UP and here I am,” said Lopez, who was teammates with Tamayo in Gilas Pilipinas.

Francis ‘Lebron’ Lopez FIBA PHOTO

Francis ‘Lebron’ Lopez FIBA PHOTO

A standout from the Ateneo Blue Eaglets program, Lopez, 19, has been playing and training for Gilas Pilipinas in the last two years.

In 2021, the 6-foot-6 athletic winger signed with Overtime Elite (OTE) — a professional team for teenage prospects in the United States. However, Lopez's pro stint was stopped as he could not secure a US visa.

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His contract with OTE had reportedly been nullified.

It looked like Lopez was set to join the Ateneo seniors team as he was seen on Game 3 of the UAAP Season 85 Finals celebrating with the Blue Eagles after they beat the Fighting Maroons last December.

And then Tamayo happened.

Lopez added in a statement: “UP is a great institution with a very good basketball program and management group. I know deep in my heart that the UP Nowhere to Go But UP Foundation will take care of me as a student and as an athlete,” said Lopez.

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