MANILA, Philippines – Coach Rensy Bajar has not had a great performance for Letran in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament season 99.
First, the defending champions are still winless after four games in a season in which they are aiming for a four-peat.
If there is anyone who can understand him better, it is San Beda coach Yuri Escueta.
This time last year, Escueta found himself in the same position Bajar currently finds himself in: a newly minted rookie coach for a legendary collegiate team.
“We know what they are capable of. Tough start, but it’s a long season… I’m sure they’ll bounce back from this 0-4 start. Knowing coach Rensy, I am sure he will prepare his boys,” Escueta said Friday after their 68-63 win over Letran at the San Juan Arena.
“If it’s your first season, you really have to find your feet. Being an assistant is different from being a head (coach).”
While Escueta managed the Red Lions in his rookie coaching season, Bajar helped then-coach Bonnie Tan for Letran.
However, fortune favored Escueta as he successfully placed San Beda in the Final Four in his first year as top tactician.
While that doesn’t seem to be the case for the Knights right now, Escueta believes Letran can still battle in the young season.
According to Escueta, one of the reasons for the Knights’ weak performance so far is the exhaustion of the core of the three-team consisting of Fran Yu, Louie Sangalang, Brent Paraiso and Koning Caralipio.
“He also lost most of his core players, which is tough, but like I said, they’ll be fine. I’m sure they’ll come back stronger after this match. They will be more connected.”
“They will be fine, I’m sure, with coach Rensy.”