Letran coach Napa looks ahead to next season, targets title
Shortly after Letran’s season ended, coach Jeff Napa quickly shifted his focus on the Knights’ future where he sees a different story unfolding.
“Next year is a different story. There’s really competition with the talent we have, so there’s no assurance on who will make the lineup next year,” he said.
Napa set modest goals to start the season and knew Letran could go as far as the Final Four.
He said adversities and at the start of the season also added weight on the Knights’ shoulders.
“We knew from the start where we could go. We just had to deal with a lot of issues early in the season, telenovelas which happened and that’s what made us suffer and complicated our situation,” he said.
“But we’re not looking at it as an excuse and we think of it as a rallying point for us to solidify our bond and got us to where we’re at. It just so happened that our season ended here.”
Despite all they had to deal with, the Knights showed some fight and finished the eliminations at 9-9, tied for fourth as they survived two do-or-die games.
Letran nearly made it three knockout games in a row, but San Sebastian, which drew a career performance from Michael Calisaan, was just too much down the stretch.
“It’s hard to win if we have 15 missed free throws,” said Napa, who cited the Knights’ horrible shooting from the free throw line, going 18-of-33, after a 74-69 loss to the Stags on Tuesday.
“We also had crucial stops that we didn’t execute. We made runs, but when we changed players, it changed the complexion of the game. There were unnecessary things that happened that gave our opponents the momentum.”
Napa, though, isn’t blaming anybody for the Knights’ early exit as he looks ahead to the next season where he feels his team can contend for a title.
“One thing’s for sure, my target next year is to become a champion. That’s my mindset,” he boldly declared. “My mindset right now is to go to the Final Four, but next year, our mindset is to become number one.”
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