NCAA 95: There will be different ending to Letran-LPU, so says ex-coach Napa
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Nov 08, 2019 11:57 AM
(Photo by Richard Esguerra)
A year ago, Colegio de San Juan de Letran was in control in its do-or-die matchup opposite Lyceum of the Philippines University.
In the third quarter, however, lead guard JP Calvo suffered a left leg injury and was ruled out for the remainder of the game.
Without him, the Pirates went on a 15-0 tear to turn a one-point deficit into a 70-56 advantage - and in all, dominated the Knights, 58-38.
Now in the NCAA 95 Men's Basketball Tournament, the Knights and the Pirates meet once more in the semifinals.
And this time around will definitely be different - if Jeff Napa is to be believed. "Hindi na mangyayari yung last year kasi healthy ang team," he said a year since he was unable to guide Letran through Calvo's injury.
He then continued, "Definitely, handa itong team na ito. Last year, puro injuries e, pero ngayon, healthhy na so confident ako na lalaro sila ng tama at gagawin nila yung best nila para manalo."
Napa is no longer on the sidelines of the Knights, but remains in close contact with them as he and Bonnie Tan, the coach who replaced him, are working together in NorthPort in the PBA.
In fact, he and school alumni JP Calvo and Bong Quinto watched together as the Intramuros-based team bested San Sebastian College-Recoletos last Tuesday to book the bout with their neighbors.
That is exactly why he knows full well that his former team has not forgotten what transpired a season ago. As he put it, "I'm pretty sure yung mga bata, gusto nilang makabawi kaya lalaro sila nang maayos."
He then continued, "Lahat yan, naging players ko so proud ako na kada papasok sila sa game, ang mindset nila is hindi sila magpapatalo. Yung attitude nila dati, hanggang ngayon dala pa rin nila."
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