Young Lasquety wins in coaching debut for JRU | Inquirer Sports
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Young Lasquety wins in coaching debut for JRU

06:09 PM January 28, 2018

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Until now, Gio Lasquety still can’t believe that he’s at the helm for Jose Rizal University in the 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup.

“It still feels awkward,” he admitted as he became the youngest coach in the developmental league’s eight-year history on Thursday.

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Teammates with some of these players months back, the 24-year-old was entrusted by coach Vergel Meneses to lead the preparations for the Heavy Bombers in the offseason starting with this stint in the PBA D-League, a unique move given the slim age gap between him and the players.

Some, like veterans Paolo Pontejos and Ervin Grospe, are even older than Lasquety, making his job tougher as he tries to gain the respect of the squad as a bench tactician.

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But after calling the shots for JRU for the first time, steering his team to a 96-67 victory over Mila’s Lechon, there’s no question that Lasquety fits right at home.

“It feels good to win. It feels better than playing because I’m the one who is guiding them. I’m the one doing the game plan and fielding the players,” he said.

It was a convincing win but Lasquety knows that he still has a lot of things to improve on before he can get at the level of some of the game’s elite minds.

But that won’t stop him from adding some of his personal spin on this opportunity.

“I think I still need to be a little strict so that I can gain their respect more. Of course, there will be time for joking, but when it’s time to work, we have to work,” he said. “We set aside that we’re friends, that we’re teammates before, and focus on our job at hand.”

Luckily for Lasquety, he still enjoys some mentorship from Meneses and lead assistant Cholo Villanueva.

“Coach Vergel told me to apply whatever I learned from his system. If I see things that I feel can help the team win, I shouldn’t hesitate from doing it,” he said.

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This D-League stint, however, isn’t limited to just him as Lasquety reiterated that the reason why JRU is here is to begin its buildup for NCAA Season 94.

“We’re here in the D-League to gain experience which can help us in the NCAA. We have to learn things in every game we play in,” he said.

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TAGS: 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants Cup, Coach, gio lasquety, JRU Heavy Bombers, NCAA Season 94 men's basketball
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