Young guns to be wind beneath JRU's wings for NCAA 95

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jun 27, 2019 06:10 PM
Young guns to be wind beneath JRU's wings for NCAA 95
Louie Gonzalez, a one-time NCAA and one-time UAAP champion coach, is now overseeing the preparations for JRU to take flight once more

HOW’D THEY DO LAST SEASON? 3-15, 10th

YES, THEY’RE STILL HERE: Ry Dela Rosa, MJ Dela Virgen, Agem Miranda

WELCOME TO THE FAMILY: John Amores, John Delos Santos, Marwin Dionisio, Thomas Vasquez, Louie Gonzalez (coach)

GOOD LUCK ON FUTURE ENDEAVORS: Jed Mendoza, Junmark Silvarez, Darius Estrella (injured), Vergel Meneses (coach)

WHAT SHOULD WE EXPECT FROM JRU?

With Jed Mendoza transferring to University of the East, JRU was supposed to be Darius Estrella’s show to run in NCAA Season 95.

Unfortunately, Estrella, a former MVP in the NCAA Jrs., suffered another ACL injury and will be out for the year.

That makes the Heavy Bombers even more of a young team as the mantle of leadership will now fall on second-year players Ry Dela Rosa and Agem Miranda.

“Every day, I talk to Agem and Ry, I give them more responsibility. With their attitude, they're really up to it. Agem is really special. Ry is a team player, he does the small things.” – head coach Louie Gonzalez

While those two are solid pieces, the future of Kalentong will fall upon the shoulders of a quartet of recruits from the school’s Juniors program.

First and foremost among them is fearless slasher John Amores, the 17th-ranked player in last season’s NBTC 24, but playmaker John Delos Santos, steady forward Marwin Dionisio, and sparkplug Thomas Vasquez are no slouches themselves.

“Yung rookies ko from high school, sobrang promising talaga. Sakin, napagandang opportunity ito to show na may connection yung program from Light Bombers to Heavy Bombers.” – head coach Louie Gonzalez

WHO IS/ARE THE PLAYER/S TO WATCH OUT FOR FROM JRU?

Without a doubt, several players will take turns in doing the heavy lifting for JRU.

And so, there is no definitive player to watch from them.

“The way things are running, come NCAA, wala naman akong ma-ask sa players ko. They are a young team, pero sobrang promising naman. What's good with the players right now, nag-buy in agad dun sa sistema. Yung commitment at effort na binigay sakin, sobra-sobra.” – head coach Louie Gonzalez

What would be must-watch, however, is how new head coach Louie Gonzalez tries to rejigger a program that fell to the back of the pack last season with a 3-15 record.

This, after an eight-year run that saw them posting an overall 81-61 record under school legend Vergel Meneses.

Fortunately for Coach Louie, he will have championship experience to draw from as he was an assistant for both Colegio de San Juan de Letran’s NCAA Season 91 championship and De La Salle University’s UAAP Season 79 championship.

WHY SHOULD WE ROOT FOR JRU?

Again, JRU is a young team.

Aside from point guard MJ Dela Virgen, nobody from their lineup saw heavy minutes in the last two seasons. That gives all their young talent – such as second-year players Miranda and Dela Rosa and rookies Amores, Delos Santos, Dionisio, and Vasquez – the golden opportunity to break out.

Coach Louie also turned La Salle into a team of scrappy upstarts that leaned on third-year studs Justine Baltazar and Aljun Melecio for a run that just fell a win shy of the Final Four in the UAAP a year ago – meaning, he is more than capable of doing the same for the Heavy Bombers.

“One thing's for sure, lalaban 'to.” – head coach Louie Gonzalez

WHERE WOULD JRU BE AT THE END OF NCAA SEASON 95?

No question, JRU will not be in the Final Four next season.

“Wala naman kaming pupuntahan kundi pataas. For this one, sana 7th or 8th, medyo okay na ako kasi it’s a rebuilding team. Ang goal namin is mag-improve nang mag-improve.” – head coach Louie Gonzalez

Instead, what NCAA Season 95 will mean for the Heavy Bombers is the first step in a grand plan to take flight once more. As such, at the moment, getting experience for their young talent is their primary purpose.

WHEN IS JRU’S FIRST GAME IN NCAA SEASON 95?

JRU’s new era commences opposite San Sebastian College-Recoletos on July 9 at Filoil Flying V Centre.

As always, the latest season of the first and oldest collegiate league in the country will be on ABS-CBN S+A Channel 23, ABS-CBN S+A HD Channel 166, LIGA SkyCable Channel 86, LIGA HD SkyCable Channel 183, iWant and livestream.

HERE’S WHAT TO EXPECT FROM THE NINE OTHER TEAMS IN NCAA SEASON 95:

EAC turning over a new leaf for NCAA 95

Kent Salado back in the driver's seat for Arellano in NCAA 95

Mapua Srs. out to reap the rewards of its champion Jrs. team

Health only thing standing in way of Baste's best shot at a title

Will third time be the charm for TY Tang-coached CSB?

Without a prince, Perps hoping it's still an heir to throne

Letran's Walls of Intramuros still stand strong

Will deeper mean better for Perez and Ayaay-less LPU?

 

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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