Steve Nash Enriquez has become National University’s de facto leader.
This, as other Bullpups-turned-Bulldogs Janjan Felicilda and Reyland Torres have transferred to University of the Philippines coached by former NU-Nazareth mentor Goldwin Monteverde.
They added to a plethora of Bullpups in the Fighting Maroons camp led by Carl Tamayo. The group also includes Harold Alarcon, Terrence Fortea, Gerry Abadiano, and Cyril Gonzales.
So current NU head coach Jeff Napa has already passed the leadership role to Enriquez, who is just in his second playing year in college.
“I’m really confident na kakayanin naman ng team sa pangunguna ni Nash ‘yung mga obstacle na pagdadaanan namin. ‘Cause still, we’re a young team na continue learning na hopefully it will transform coming to our season,” said Napa after the Bulldogs’ 78-64 win over Arellano in the 2022 Filoil Ecooil Preseason Cup.
“He [is] loyal to our school despite everything. At least pinu-prove niya naman na he deserves kung ano ibibigay kong position para sa kanya,” he added referring to Enriquez, who pumped in 11 points, five rebounds, and two assists.
Enriquez is also confident that he can take the lead right away even if he is just in his sophomore year.
He’s learned that lesson ever since high school when he would come off the bench after Fortea and Abadiano – staying ready.
“Kahit since high school po, naging backup point guard naman po talaga ako. So ready naman ako palagi kahit naging first five ako or kung ano ibibigay ng mga coaches ko. Basta, dapat gawin ko lang ‘yung lahat ng makakaya ko sa tiwala na binigay ni coach sa akin.”
The 5-foot-9 native of Cebu is the last of Goldwin’s recruits in NU, and he doesn’t plan to leave at all.
Enriquez vowed to stay with the Bulldogs the rest of the way, to the delight of Napa.
“Gusto ko talaga maglaro sa NU kasi ‘yun nga po malaking tulong naman po sila sa akin, sa pamilya ko. Kasi sa totoo lang walang wala naman kami sa Cebu,” said the 19-year-old Enriquez.
“Laking tulong ng NU sa family ko, kahit papaano naman gumaan din ‘yung buhay namin din. So, hundred percent po loyal naman po ako na maglaro sa NU.”
And when it’s time that Enriquez faces Felicilda and the rest of his former teammates, expect nothing but the best effort from second-generation cager.
“Same lang po ‘yung approach sa mga iba kong mga kalaban. Kumbaga gagawin ko lang ‘yung best ko, magkaibigan man kami sa labas pero sa loob laro lang.”
The entire 2022 Filoil Ecooil Preseason Cup will stream LIVE on Smart Sports Facebook page