NCAA: Letran's 'big man whisperer' Jeff Napa is NorthPort's newest assistant coach

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Nov 19, 2018 02:04 PM
NCAA: Letran's Napa is NorthPort's newest assistant coach
Jeff Napa will be tasked to oversee the continued development of the likes of Mo Tautuaa and Bradwyn Guinto, among others, at NorthPort

NorthPort, fresh off a dismal campaign in the ongoing 2018 PBA Governor’s Cup, wants to breathe new life into its hopes.

And so, the Batang Pier have taken to the collegiate ranks and have tapped Jeff Napa, architect of Colegio de San Juan de Letran’s rebuild, as its newest assistant coach.

“After having a successful season with Letran, we’re happy to announce that Jeff Napa has joined the NorthPort coaching staff as one of its assistants,” team manager Bonnie Tan said on Monday.

He then continued, “We’re injecting the coaching staff with young coaches in the hope of getting fresh ideas and starting great things with them.”

In the recently concluded NCAA 94 Men’s Basketball Tournament, Napa led the Knights to their first playoff berth since their Cinderella championship in 2015. There, he worked with Tan who served as one of the team’s consultants.

The 37-year-old mentor was key in the transformation of Bong Quinto into a triple-double threat and of JP Calvo into a legitimate court general.

More impressively, however, Napa formed the league’s most formidable frontline without the benefit of having a foreign student-athlete.

In Larry Muyang, Christian Fajarito, and Jeo Ambohot, Letran had a full-blooded Filipino three-headed monster that terrorized the paint.

This isn’t the first time that the former National University standout proved to be a so-called “big man whisperer.”

He first made a name for himself by establishing and then reinforcing Nazareth School of NU, the high school program of his alma mater, into a powerhouse that won three championships on the back of the likes of Justine Baltazar and Mark Dyke.

Now, Napa will be tasked to guide the continued development for the Batang Pier of the likes of bigs Lervin Flores, Joseph Gabayni, Bradwyn Guinto, and Mo Tautuaa.

He will serve under head coach Pido Jarencio and alongside fellow assistant Rensy Bajar.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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