NCAA Season 92: Mapua even deadlier with its new ‘twin towers’
Head coach: Atoy Co
Last season: 12-6 (third)
Key losses: Josan Nimes, Mark Braña
Key returnees: Allwell Oraeme, Andrew Estrella, Joseph Eriobu, CJ Isit
Key additions: Kenneth Magboo, Christian Buñag
Mapua head coach Atoy Co provided the comic relief in an otherwise monotonous pre-season press conference Wednesday.
Co joked about getting lucky to have made the Final Four last season, how he’s sounding as if he’s scaring the rest of the NCAA by mentioning he’s added another player whose the same height as rookie-MVP Allwell Oraeme to form a twin towers.
He made jokes, tried to exchange seats with San Beda coach Jamike Jarin as an act of superstition, entertaining the media in the process.
But silliness aside, dealing with the Cardinals won’t be a laughing matter as the NCAA Season 92 opens on Saturday.
“Anytime you have a rookie-MVP, you’re going to be a contender,” said Jarin of Mapua.
Mapua will be without Josan Nimes, who is now with Rain or Shine in the PBA. But the Cardinals’ Final Four run had Oraeme’s fingerprints all over it.
Co said Mapua impressed during its tune-up games against UAAP teams and if the Cardinals play true to their form they would be a handful against the NCAA.
“The past two weeks, mga ka-tuneup namin yung mga UAAP na teams. Kumpleto kami, tinalo namin sila,” said Co, who refused to name the teams.
“Kung ganito lalaruin ng team ko, hindi na kami pwede i-take for granted ng ibang teams.”
Apart from Oraeme, Mapua is bringing in 6-foot-5 Kenneth Magboo and 6-foot-7 Christian Buñag.
Andrew Estrella and Joseph Eriobu are also making their return to bolster the Cardinals’ lineup.
“Meron akong 6-5 si Kenneth Magboo, meron din akong 6-7 si Christian Bunyag. Baka sabihin niyo naman tinatakot ko mga coaches,” Co said with a laugh.
“Pero kasing tangkad ni Allwell yun kaya meron akong twin towers,” said Co with a huge grin.
Mapua isn’t fooling around.
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