NCAA Season 93 Preview: Young Letran Knights out to turn heads
Head coach: Jeff Napa
Last Season: 9-9 (6th)
Holdovers: Rey Nambatac, Bong Quinto, JP Calvo, Jerrick Balanza
Key Losses: Jom Sollano, Mcjour Luib, Felix Apreku
Key Additions: Jeremiah Taladua, Paul Pamulaklakin, Daryl Pascual
Despite a tumultuous last season, the Letran Knights’ goal has never changed: to return to its rightful throne.
“That’s always been the goal. We want to win as many games and get back on top,” said head coach Jeff Napa.
Coming off a rough first year, Napa thinks that the team’s youth coupled with the confidence it gained in the offseason will be enough to propel the Knights to a better showing after failing to defend their title and missing the Final Four last season.
“This team is still young, but the young ones we have gained confidence in our buildup and I’m pretty sure they’ll be able to step up for us,” he said.
Napa will be banking on the leadership of fifth-year swingman Rey Nambatac, together with Bong Quinto, JP Calvo, and Jerrick Balanza, hoping that the feistiness of the four will rub off on the rest of the crew.
And he’s quite elated that not many people are pegging Letran as a contender this season, using this as motivation to overachieve this year.
“Even though a lot of people aren’t paying attention on us, we’ll make a way that they will notice us,” he said.
The affable mentor, though, admits that having a youthful Knights squad has its perils, and the main issue is definitely the team’s maturity, a point of concern that he has been doubling down on for the past two months.
“The question is how we adopt to the situations during the game. That’s what we’re working on, their maturity, because we know we have the tools. It’s on how we react that I’m worried about,” he said.
But Napa has his full confidence that this year’s Letran squad will give nothing but its 100-percent whenever it hits the floor.
“We’re pretty sure that we’ll go all-out. We’ll show our big heart no matter what happens for Letran,” he said.
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