Takeover NCAA: Shoot-outs & dance-offs with the JRU Heavy Bombers

ABS-CBN Sports on Oct 19, 2015 05:10 PM
Takeover NCAA: Shoot-outs & dance-offs with the Bombers
The JRU Heavy Bombers = possibly the goofiest team this NCAA Season 91. Anchor Andrei Felix, analyst Martin Antonio and courtside reporter Ceej Tantengco invaded the practice of the Mandaluyong-based squad as they prepare for the Final 4.

The underdogs

Unlike the defending champs San Beda Red Lions, or the Letran Knights, who dominated Round 1; or the Mapua Cardinals who seemed unstoppable in Round 2—the path to the Final 4 wasn’t clear for JRU.

 

In the middle of the second round, it became clear that they had to win six consecutive games to make the cut. It seemed impossible, but then the Heavy Bombers defied the odds. Paolo Pontejos with crucial three-pointers, Tey-Tey Teodoro with his clutch game, Grospe stepping up.

Coach Vergel Meneses thanks the JRU fans who stuck by the team when times were tough: “Kahit noong nasa baba kami ng standings, hindi niyo kami iniwan. Palagi kayong nasa arena para sumuporta. Maraming, maraming salamat po.”

 

Goofballs, brothers

Even before crucial games, the Heavy Bombers are quick to crack a joke. Credit that to their closeness to each other and their coach. (“Si Coach pa nga nagyayaya lumabas,” quips Jordan Dela Paz.)

 

Paolo Pontejos and team captain Dave Sanchez have known each other since high school, while Jordan made their group a trio in college. When Paolo’s dad Joey passed away last week, Dave and Jordan were at the wake, cracking jokes to lighten the mood and cheer Paolo up.

Here’s that goofiness in action. You know how when MMA fighters call each other out, everyone looks angry? This is the opposite of that.

 

JRU would later lose this fight against Mapua, but in our book, they win at making the best call-out videos!

 

One-on-one with the Heavy Bombers

“Coach Vergel, pwede mo ba kami pakitaan ng galawang Aerial Voyager?” asked Andrei. Well, you asked for it.

 

“Tey, tara, one-on-one tayo.” Again, Andrei, you asked for it.

 

Twerk it like Teytey

You can ‘Twerk it like Atoy,’ but can you twerk it like Tey-Tey? (And Kim Aurin, John Grospe, and MJ Dela Virgen.)

 

 

Other secret talents: rookie Kim Aurin can beatbox, and this isn’t much of a secret, but rookie big man Abdel Poutouchi can lift. What will be a surprise to many NCAA fans is that the 6’10” center is actually one of the most soft-spoken guys on the team.

 

 

What motivates the Heavy Bombers?

As goofy as the Heavy Bombers are off the court, their rise to the Final 4 shows this squad means business. Players arrive early for practice. Star players put in extra work without anyone asking them to. (“Ayokong walang ginagawa,” explains Tey-Tey.)

 

Coach Vergel shares his coaching style doesn’t pressure players, but instead encourages them to find their own motivation. Make it personal, and you get better results. The Heavy Bombers have done just that.

Catch the JRU Heavy Bombers as they face off versus the San Beda Red Lions this Tuesday, October 20, 4:00 pm, LIVE on ABS-CBN Sports+Action 23, BALLS HD 195, and livestreaming on http://sports.abs-cbn.com/livestream/ncaa!

We’re hanging out with the Final Four teams on Instagram. Follow the fun @abs_cbnsports and #TakeoverNCAA!

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