After some turbulence, Meneses’ love for coaching now sky high

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jun 23, 2015 07:31 PM
After turbulence, Meneses’ love for coaching now sky high
AERIAL VOYAGING. Vergel Meneses has JRU flying sky high once again.

It’s only fitting that the man who would take Jose Rizal University back into the skies was someone referred to as “The Aerial Voyager.”

Entering their sixth year under Vergel Meneses, the Heavy Bombers have thrust themselves back into the conversation about contenders after a standout preseason following a mighty rebound campaign in the previous NCAA season.

In the face of recent successes, however, the PBA 40 Greatest honoree admitted that the stress of collegiate coaching – from recruitment to development and all over again – got to him early on. “Nung una, hindi ko na-enjoy yung coaching,” he told ABS-CBN Sports.

He then added in jest, “Mas masarap yung player ka than coach kasi kung player ka, ikaw may dala ng bola.”

Turning serious, Meneses shared that recruitment – from convincing well-regarded talents to mining hidden gems – will take a toll on anyone. “Mahirap humanap ng players. Kelangang ipaunawa na ang sistema ang magpapatakbo sayo,” he said.

That hardship makes him cherish each and every time he lands a recruit – from little-known Kim Aurin to NCAA Juniors MVP Darius Estrella this year, for example. “Mahal na mahal ko na yung trabaho kasi iba pala yung nakakatulong sa players,” he said.

Now looking like a man in total control from the sidelines during games and on the court during practices, “The Aerial Voyager” said he only needed one more thing to make his coaching experience whole. “Ang gusto ko talaga, championship kasi hindi ko nagawa as a player dati sa JRU,” he said.

He continued, “Gusto ko talagang mabigyan ng panalo yung alma mater ko kasi sobrang tagal na rin.”

JRU and its legendary alumnus will not have to wait long to determine if their deep and well-balanced lineup together with Meneses’ newly-reinforced passion for coaching will be able to put an end to the 42-year championship drought in Shaw Boulevard.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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