Victolero aims to bring back Star’s luster
Left with only five weeks until the new season opens, new Star head coach Chito Victolero is taking the challenge head on as he hopes to pull the Purefoods franchise out of the muck.
“Medyo mabigat kasi mayroon lang akong five weeks to prepare for this conference, but it’s not an excuse. We have a view of the big picture, we have a goal, but we have to start from the first step,” he said on Monday.
Only in his second session at the helm for the Hotshots, Victolero has already instituted the same defensive principles he first implemented in his time with Mahindra. And he’s hopeful that with a more experienced core, they can adapt well with the defense-heavy system he’s putting.
“It’s almost the same lang (with Mahindra). Then, medyo matagal lang yung progress kasi mga bata ang players, but here, it’s a veteran team so I think makaka-adjust naman sila agad sa system,” he said.
It seems like a long time since Star has established itself as one of the league’s defensive juggernauts, and that’s exactly what Victolero wants the team to be: to get back to its old scrappy ways and winning games through the defensive end.
“Yun yung sinabi ko sa kanila, ‘Our best offense is our defense.’ We want to be one of the top defensive teams kasi yun yung trend, kung sino yung mas magandang dumepensa, sila yung mas may chance manalo at mapunta sa tuktok. We know this team can defend, so siguro they only need the proper mindset that we need to start playing defense,” he said.
Winning the Grand Slam back in 2014, Star seemed to have lost its luster after last season’s forgettable run. And that fact is not lost on Victolero, as he hopes to recapture that thunder once more and bring the Hotshots back in contention.
“This team is very successful. They have an attitude that they know how to bounce back and yun yung hahanapin namin. Sabi ko nga sa kanila, ‘You’ve experienced what it’s like to be on top and you’ve experienced how it feels to be at the bottom. Now, ano ang mas masarap na feeling?’ Yun ang tanong ko sa kanila,” he said.
“Hindi naman namin yan minamadali. It’s a process. Kung masho-shortcut namin at mapapabilis namin, mas maganda but patience is a virtue.”