MANILA, Philippines—Perpetual Help head coach Aric Del Rosario is convinced the team has the right pieces in place to make a deep run in the NCAA Season 89, starting with its new comers, who the veteran shot caller thinks they are responding well to his system.
Del Rosario is pinning his trust on rookies Juneric Balorio, who showcased his range and offensive prowess in the pre-season, and Gerald Dizon.
“Siguro maganda naman yung pagkapili ko sa mga player ko na bago, nagrerespond sila at yung mga gusto ko pagawa nagagawa nila (I think I’ve chosen my new players well, they respond well and they follow what I want them to do),” Del Rosario told INQUIRER.net.
“Si Balorio at si Dizon, [tingin ko sila gagawa sa mga bago] (I think Balorio and Dizon will perform well among the new ones),” said Del Rosario.
Balorio and Dizon often alternated in their offensive strikes during the pre-season, where the Altas reached as far the finals in the Fr. Martin Cup and the quarters in the Filoil Flying V.
And if its performance thus far is the gauge, Del Rosario is confident Perpetual Help can make this season’ final four, or even further.
“Sa tingin ko pwede parin [kami makapasok sa final four] sa nilalaro ng mga bata (I think we can still make it to the final four, judging from the way members of my team play the game),” he said.
They may have lost gunner Jett Vidal, who was the source quick points of the Altas in the past, but they are still equipped with just as capable wing men.
“Ganun pa din yung big men ko tapos okay din yung mga wing na dumating na kapalit (My big men are the same, they’re OK and so are the new wing men),” said Del Rosario. “Siguro may laban pa kami (We have a good fighting chance).”
Del Rosario also has Nosa Omorgbe, a tough big man with a fine touch from outside, at his disposable and reliable holdovers like Justin Alano, Chris Elopre, Harold Arboleda and Femi Babayemi.
Omorogbe—whose improved health has done him wonders during the summer—though, vowed to do much more than just uncork triples this year.
“Two times syang naging player of the week sa Filoil. Maganda nilalaro kasi medyo healthy ngayon (He was chosen as player of the week in Filoil twice. He plays better because he’s healthier now),” Del Rosario said of the versatile Nigerian center.
“Sabi nya sakin, ‘lahat gagawin ko para matulungan kita at madala yung championship (He told me he’ll do everything he can to bring us to the championship),’” Del Rosario shared.
But it wasn’t just Omorogbe who promised to fight tooth and nail for the Atlas’ this year, it was the entire team.