MANILA — University of Sto. Tomas is hoping to make some noise in the incoming UAAP Season 86 men’s basketball tournament.
Spearheaded by returning head coach Pido Jarencio, and now being backed by San Miguel Corporation, the Growling Tigers are primed to change their fortunes after suffering a 1-13 record last year,
But Jarencio, who will once again lead the España-based institution for the first time since Season 76, is keen on threading through things lightly, especially since they are only in the first year of their goal to bring UST back to its glory.
“Makapanalo lang kaming isa, goal na namin yun. Makadalawa sobra na yun!” Jarencio jokingly said during the league’s media conference earlier Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
Moving on to speak in a slightly more serious manner, the former Ginebra player then said that one of the things that he is preaching is how they should have a game-by-game approach this season.
“Ready naman yung team. Okay naman, maayos naman [yung chemistry]. Medyo matagal na ‘rin kaming nagsama eh, since February eh,” he said.
“Basta laro lang, one game at a time.”
“Tignan natin. Kasi yung ipagmamalaki, hindi pa natin alam eh, galing kami sa 1-13 last year eh. Tignan natin, one game at a time. Kung mag-improve yung team ayos, kung hindi naman, eh patay sakin ‘tong mga ‘to pag hindi nag-improve this year,” he said, while poking fun at his players once more.
“Nung magkakasama kami, nakita ko kung sino yung malakas kumain, mahina kumain, malakas tumakbo, malakas magkwento, pero walang laro sa basketball. Dun ako nagka problema,” Jarencio added, referencing the squad’s training overseas earlier this year.
But this approach, according to the former Northport Batang Pier mentor, is just his way of connecting to his players to create a bond that he hopes will translate into them bringing back the 3Ps that have been Pido’s battle cry with UST ever since.
“Ako, nagbibiro ako, pero ganun lang kami, masaya lang kami eh. Masaya yung women’s team namin, masaya yung men’s team namin. Coming to the season, excited and masaya kami,” he said.
“Winelcome naman tayo ng UST, at alam niyo naman mahal ko UST eh. Ever since, through and through, UST yan eh. Happy and excited.”
“Magiging competitive [kami], basta ang dala namin UST. May puso, pride, palaban.”