As the University of Santo Tomas ran roughshod on University of the East, 83-76, to claim its sixth victory in seven games, one spectator that’s very close to the hearts of Thomasians everywhere was cheering his heart out among others.
Former UST champion head coach Pido Jarencio was easily the most interesting fan who was in attendance in the Tigers’ game last Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
And so far, the current GlobalPort mentor is liking what he’s seeing from his former boys.
“Maganda kasi good start sila e. Iba yung nakakauna ka na kasi pag dating ng second round, mas mahirap lumaro ng second round dahil lahat ng teams nagppick-up na e. Maski yung mga natatalo nagpipick-up na e,” Jarencio said as he watched the game with former UST assistant Budjing Acot and current GlobalPort team manager Bonnie Tan.
Jarencio also added that he’s still seeing the attitude that he instilled in his eight-year stay with the Tigers. The three ‘Ps’ that his squad was known for, ‘Pride, Puso at Palaban’ can still be seen in the Tigers’ character, particularly from his former players Ed Daquioag and Kevin Ferrer.
And as much as Pido is proud of every single of them, Jarencio singled out Daquioag as the guy who surprised him the most after a dazzling first round display, particularly on offense.
“Actually nag mature na rin si Kevin pero surprisingly si Daquioag talaga yung nagstep-up ng husto, sa nakikita ko,” he added.
Asked about his thoughts on Daquioag’s future – particularly in the kid’s dream to one day play in the pros – Jarencio said that a little more tweaking to Daquioag’s mindset would be the key to his success.
“More maturity pa. More experience pa. Laro siya ng D-League, after nun tignan natin kung aangat pa lalo yung laro niya.”
Jarencio also credited current UST coach Bong dela Cruz for the squad’s current success, citing his predecessor’s ability to get the best out of the players this year.
“Maganda naman ang hawak niya sa team. Wala akong masabi dun sa ginawa niya sa depensa, sa opensa, tyaka may flow yung team e. Nakakalaro ng husto,” he mentioned.
Asked if he believes that UST can go all the way this time around, Jarencio answered in the affirmative.
“Sakin, siguro aabot hanggang dulo. Basta ganyan lang, may composure, steady lang sila. Baka umabot yan hanggang dulo.”
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