Sablan: New Tigers will be competitive
NEW University of Santo Tomas coach Rodil “Boy” Sablan may be inheriting a stripped-down squad, but the former team deputy thinks he has enough time to whip the Tigers back into competitive form.
“We still have the materials, but we have to work on it,” said Sablan, who starts training his team Wednesday, just a day after signing a one-year contract with school management.
“I have to get to know the players first, then we’ll see what system we can adopt. In two weeks’ time, I’ll be able to assess.”
Sablan takes over a UST squad that has lost to graduation team stars Kevin Ferrer, Ed Daquioag and Karim Abdul, the trio who played key roles in the Tigers’ UAAP Finals stint in three of the last four seasons.
Veterans Louie Vigil and Jami Sheriff also won’t be around as the league lowered the eligible playing age from 25 to 24 years old.
The 52-year-old Sablan succeeds embattled mentor Bong dela Cruz, who had been accused of physically and verbally abusing his players. Dela Cruz denied the allegation.
Sablan thinks he has enough time to promote his system and instill discipline in the Tigers, who finished runner-up to Far Eastern University last year.
“Most of the players are new, so it’s hard to expect (much from them),” said Sablan. “But I think we can still be competitive.”
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