Mapua’s Co on best start as coach: ‘It’s a wow’
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jul 12, 2016 05:31 PM
MORE THAN WORDS. After making his first Final Four as a coach a season ago, Atoy Co is off to the best start in his career calling the shots.
Atoy Co, the outspoken coach of Mapua Institute of Technology, had a hard time putting into words how he felt after he and his boys won for the third time in a row to start the 92nd Season of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.
“Wow. It’s a wow,” was all he was able to come up with – at first, at least.
Now standing at first-place at 3-0, along with San Beda College, the Cardinals are enjoying their most hopeful first few weeks of the season in recent memory.
More than that, however, the 3-0 record was also special to Co for personal reasons – it’s the best start in his coaching career.
The basketball legend’s priceless reaction to his squad’s strong start was a far cry from the preseason when he dejectedly expressed, “Sad to say, I doubt if we are in the championship level. We are not contenders yet.”
Co said such after Mapua didn’t even make it into the next round of the 2016 Filoil Flying V Preseason Tournament. Then, they had a uninspiring 1-6 record all while playing uninspired basketball.
Talking about the changes from then to now, the vocal mentor said, “(In the preseason), we were playing lousy. After Filoil, they realized their conditioning isn’t enough so they’re doing extra work now.”
However, Co was quick to clarify that he still needs to see a lot more to be able to call his Cardinals contenders. “I still don’t think were in that peak form,” he said.
He then continued, “Pag nakaka-shoot ang outside shooters ko, patay na ang kalaban, but I still believe we have to work hard on defense.”
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