The Jose Rizal University Heavy Bombers have been the biggest disappointment of the 92nd Season of the NCAA Seniors Basketball Tournament.
Having lost just one match during the off-season, the Heavy Bombers were pegged as one of the favorites to win it all. However, the loss of Dave Sanchez, a player that did not even fill up the statsheets, had huge repercussions for Jose Rizal University.
“Kelangan namin mag-evaluate, evaluate namin lahat kung saan nagkamali. Isa ring tingin ko, we don’t have a leader on the team,” first year head coach Vergel Meneses shared after JRU finished their Season 92 campaign. “Walang Michael Mabulac, walang Dave Sanchez. Wala kaming ganoon. For the past two years, wala. Buti nga nakalusot ako last year. Wala kaming vocal.”
This lack of leadership, the lack of a medium that mediates between the coaches and the players, hampered the Shaw Boulevard-based squad in the first round and ultimately led to their demise.
“First round namin, ang sama agad. Then we lost sa mga team na alam ko tatalunin namin (Perpetual, EAC),” the PBA legend furthered. “Ang problema JRU.”
“Tingin nila kaya nila. Isa din yung pride. Wala yung pride.”
With this predicament, Meneses is looking to overhaul the team, as it is set to lose three pivotal pieces to graduation.
“Next week, we’ll evaluate everything: what went wrong, anong kailangan palitan, sino kailangan maglaro para sa akin sa mga Team B ko. Pontejos, Dela Paz, Cruz. Di naman sure din na yung naka-lineup will be back next year,” the seven-year JRU head coach added.
“There’s no guarantee.”
“Titignan ko rin yung off the bench na di ko naman napakinabangan at di naka-contribute, ibababa ko muna sila,” he said.
“Siguro dapat talaga may dala akong isang sakong pusa. Ayaw mawala yung daga.”
However, the re-evaluation is not limited to just the players.
“Pati coaches ko, yung mali ko. Di lang pwede isang side lang na puro players,” the 47-year-old said.
With a long off-season, expect a lot of changes in the program of the Heavy Bombers.