Gotladera, Hayes here to help Enderun make noise in PBA D-League

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jan 31, 2019 04:12 PM
Gotladera here to help Enderun make noise in PBA D-League
Fonzo Gotladera and Marvin Hayes will be tasked to be the wings for fledgling Enderun in the upcoming PBA D-League

Enderun is embarking on its maiden voyage to the bigger stages and the brighter lights of basketball.

The Titans, partnering with Family Mart, are all set to see action in the 2019 PBA D-League – marking the first time the young Taguig-based school is venturing out from the NAASCU.

As it turns out, this was years in the making. “Years ago, our school president asked me if we can join the NCAA or the UAAP and I told him no because we don’t meet the requirements. What we can do is if we can get better, we can join the D-League,” head coach Pipo Noundou said.

He then continued, “So every year, it was a goal for me to push the guys there. Now, we’re here.”

Indeed, Enderun has fulfilled its goal of making it to the PBA D-League – and in the 2019 season, they will wage war against 19 other teams.

Helping them with their transition there are a couple of ex-pros as well as a pair of former collegiate players. “Their goal is to help make the team more competitive. More importantly, as veterans, this is their chance to mentor the younger players,” team manager Paolo Bugia said

Bugia was referring to Fonzo Gotladera, who was released by NLEX early in the year, as well as Marvin Hayes, who had played for the Titans’ sister team Phoenix in the PBA.

They will also be joined by former San Beda University skipper Joe Presbitero and ex-Enderun star Jan Vidal.

Of course, the expectation is also for the current Titans themselves to rise to the challenge.

That means that now team captain Mark Nunez, Filipino-American Vallandre Chauca, and foreign student-athlete Wabo Colince are all out to make noise. “We joined to raise our level of competition. In the NAASCU, we lost to St. Clare in the Finals because we lacked D-League experience,” coach Pipo said.

He then continued, “What we want now is to get better through the D-League so that when we meet (St. Clare) again, we can be more competitive.”

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Follow this writer, @riegogogo.

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