Diliman College head coach Rensy Bajar did not look far after he had drafted his players during the 2019 PBA D-League draft.
In the 16th and 18th round, Diliman College selected UP Fighting Maroons’ Jun Manzo and Noah Webb, respectively.
But for the former Fighting Maroons head coach, it was just a coincidence that he drafted the two student-athletes from Diliman.
“Sixteenth round na kami naka-draft e and, para sa akin, sila na yung best available talent. Malaking bagay na kapitbahay namin sila,” said Bajar, who was the head coach of UP back in 2015.
“Sana maganda yung maging negotiation namin dahil malapit lang yung UP sa Diliman. Wala silang dahilan para hindi makapunta sa mga practice namin.”
Bajar also wanted to draft Juan Gomez de Liano to the Blue Dragons but the 23 for 2023 Gilas Cadet was selected by the Che’Lu Revellers in the 6th round. De Liano though was not cleared by UP to join the D-League this season.
“Sayang nga e! Naunahan tayo ni Che’lu e. Isa si Juan na ina-eye ko,” quipped Bajar.
Besides having two Fighting Maroons in his team, Bajar is just glad that the program he helped build is finally in the D-League.
Building the program from scratch, Diliman College has slowly formed a team that has become a force in the UCBL.
And the UCBL champs can’t wait to test their mettle against their counterparts in the UAAP, NCAA, and NAASCU.
“Actually, pagpunta namin dito, ang number one goal namin is to gain more experience. At the same time, gusto rin namin matuto sa champions ng UAAP and NCAA and yung veteran teams,” shared Bajar as the likes of Kristoffer Torado, Robbi Darang, Joseph Brutas, and Kevine Gandjeto will be leading Diliman College’s charge.
“Yung pinaghahandaan talaga namin is the UCBL. Sinabi ko sa kanila na maniwala kami na kaya naming manalo. Before the UCBL started, they weren’t counting on us to win. Same thing now na we are a new team. Trabaho talaga kami.”