The basketball team – the UP Fighting Maroons – has a proud and storied history, as one of the founding members of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines in 1938.

But history and tradition do not always equal success, as sports fans everywhere will testify. The Fighting Maroons had not tasted success in the national championship since 1986 – until 2021 when they finally ended their drought.

Part of that success can be attributed to their use of Hudl tools, which has helped them both in player recruitment as well as in specific game situations. Indeed, they are the only UAAP team using it.

Andrew Harris was one of the team’s coaches in the championship-winning season and is unequivocal about the assistance he derived from Hudl. On Hudl Assist, he simply says: “It is such a life-saver!”

And he recalls a particular moment when Hudl Pro Suite possibly kept the Fighting Maroons’ season alive, as they fought to make the playoffs. “It was a game against De La Salle University to secure our spot in the final four,” he says. “They were playing a play that we hadn’t seen in the whole season. 

I noticed it wasn’t something we had scouted - and they ran it two consecutive times to us. I was able to send the clips over to the assistant coaches and during a time-out they were able to adjust and analyze the play, and were able to stop it and shut down the play. We went on to win the game and win the playoffs.”

In the championship game to take the title, UP came up against Ateneo, one of the most successful teams of recent years. “Yeah, they have been a top team going back a lot of years, while UP hadn’t won a championship since 1986,” Harris recalls. 

“And because of the pandemic we were limited to how many coaches could go to games, so we had to rely on a lot of analysis both before and after the two games of the championship. But it showed we were able to adjust. 

We could see all the main plays they ran, limit their scores and make all the necessary adjustments leading up to the games. It was a different level of preparation for these two games and it worked very well.”

The University of Philippines team celebrate championship glory.

Overall, when using Hudl Pro Suite, Harris says there were three main aspects to his work: in training, preparing for games and during games themselves, as with De La Salle.

The players love to use the system to view their own performance and Harris cites one benefit that is often overlooked – the independence and responsibility it gives players to improve their own game. “At first they found it complicated but once we were able to explain it, it was a revelation to them that it was so easy to study,” he says. 

“It didn’t have to be spoon-fed to them, so in a way it gave them some independence. We would still present film to them but the fact they had their own independence to analyze it themselves was good for them and helped them grow and mature. 

I think that was one of the things that helped us improve and win the championship. Ever since we had Hudl the players’ basketball IQ grew and they were able to see the game differently.”

Example of a detailed short chart delivered through Hudl Assist within 24 hours of the game ending.

Now the challenge is for the Fighting Maroons to back up their championship with a successful defence of the title. And with some of the team having graduated, new players are filling the gaps, which is where Hudl can assist in recruitment. However, it is not a typical process for the simple reason that UP is the only team in the Philippines using the software.

“It’s not like in America where a player would submit their Hudl compilation videos and we could look at what they can offer,” says Harris. “Instead we can get them in for tryouts and record videos - and from there we would make our own compilation to see if they are a good fit for our team. 

"We could see all the main plays they ran, limit their scores and make all the necessary adjustments leading up to the games. It was a different level of preparation for these two games and it worked very well.” Andrew Harris - Coach, UP Fighting Maroons.

We like playing a fast-paced, free-flowing offence with a lot of pick-and-rolls and movement, so we need to know if a person can knock down a shot or beat a man one on one, that kind of thing.

“Video evidence is solid proof because you can keep going back to it, and every day training is different so you can see how a player reacts to different situations, different defences and so on. It’s better than just going off memory.

“We now have a bunch of other new players coming in so we want to get them up to the system, doing the film viewing and self-improvement. So the goal is to maintain and defend the crown.”

Learn more about Hudl Assist and gain insight on how an elite college basketball programme in NCAA Division 1 is using real-time analysis to influence decision making at speed.