New UP coach promises more than win
No more one-win bonfires.
That’s the vow given by new UP coach Rensy Bajar as the Fighting Maroons continue to prepare for the UAAP Season 78 on September.
“Sa ngayon, medyo nakikita namin na hindi lang isa ang magiging panalo (With what we are seeing, we believe we can get more than just a win),” Bajar said.
“Ang goal namin talagang Final Four this year. Medyo kaya naman ng mga bata dahil ang sipag at ang tiyaga nila sa practice (Our goal this year is to make the Final Four. Our guys can do it because of the dedication they are putting through in our practice),” he said.
Another dismal season tagged UP last year, as it went 1-13 under coach Rey Madrid.
But with the return of Jett Manuel and Paul Desiderio to the Maroons’ bench, Bajar is also convinced that their preseason experience is already a big help in the team’s development.
“Naging magandang experience ’yung summer para sa mga players. Nagkakapaan pa ’yung coaches at players pero naging positibo yung resulta (The summer experience was a good one for the players. We’re still feeling each other but we got good results),” he said.
UP won the inaugural Filsports Basketball Association title last June behind Desiderio, Ibrahim Quattara, Diego Dario and Augustini Amar.
Personally, Bajar admitted his excitement this coming season as he, together with deputies Joe Ward, Poch Juinio and Allan Gregorio, were tasked to give direction to UP’s campaign in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament.
“Andun ’yung excitement at pressure. Ginagawa ko na lang na positive challenge for me na maiangat yung UP (The excitement and pressure is there. I just turn it to a positive challenge for me to uplift UP),” he said.
However, former UAAP Rookie of the Year Kyles Lao will miss the upcoming season after suffering an ACL injury in a summer tourney.
The Maroons will leave for Taiwan next week to participate in the Buddha Light International Association Cup.
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