Napa elated as Wangs Basketball-Letran off to a good start
Coach Jeff Napa was proud to see his team’s hard work come to life as Wangs Basketball-Letran impressed in its season-opener against AMA Online Education on Tuesday.
Newcomers like Bonbon Batiller and Christian Fajarito seamlessly blended in with Knights holdovers like Bong Quinto, JP Calvo, and Jeo Ambohot as the Couriers cruised to the 93-75 victory over the Titans.
“I’m happy with how we played and I’m positive with this team’s potential. I built this team and no matter what happens, this will be the players I will lean in from now up to the NCAA season,” the mentor said in Filipino.
Napa’s expectations were realized when his side bucked the nerves early in the game and slowly built the 12-point cushion, 38-26 in the second quarter, before pulling away and taking a 22-point lead, 81-59, at one point in the payoff period.
“In the start, I felt they were excited, but when we finally got our rhythm, we made a big run and everything went as planned,” he said.
Batiller echoed his coach’s observations and was elated that all of the team’s hardwork in the offseason was paid off with the win.
“Everything we worked on, everything coach Jeff taught us on defense, we were able to do in the game,” said the 23-year-old guard, who finished with 15 points, five rebounds, and three assists in his debut with his new squad.
For Batiller, the key for this easy transition is the team willingly welcoming newcomers like him, Fajarito, and Larry Muyang to the team — something which could only mean good things for Wangs Basketball-Letran this conference and with the Knights in the long run.
“They accepted us wholeheartedly and they trust us that we can help the team. I think that’s the reason why we’re playing the way we were againts AMA,” said the transferee from University of the East.
Napa, however, knows that the best is yet to come for the Couriers as players like Jerrick Balanza and Fran Yu are still on their way back from their injuries.
But as always, regardless who is on the floor, the mild-mannered mentor only wants to see nothing but no-frills basketball from his wards.
“We just have to work on our defense so that we can play well in our games,” he said.
Wangs Basketball-Letran returns to the court on Monday against Che’Lu Bar and Grill-San Sebastian.
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