U-17 mentor named as interim head coach with Napa’s contract still uncertain

By: Jonash Dannug, Carl Argarin
January 11, 2019
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AT THE HELM. Letran interim head coach R.J. Guevarra answering questions after a team practice (Photo by Enrique M. Agcaoili, THE LANCE).

Letran under-17 head coach RJ Guevarra was named as interim head coach of the Knights to spearhead the team’s upcoming preparations for the PBA-DLeague 2019 season while waiting for a possible renewal or replacement for Jeff Napa.

Guevarra explained that his job is to lead the team’s conditioning and prepare the squad for the upcoming developmental league.

“For now, ang ta-trabahuhin ko muna is i-kundisyon muna ‘yung mga bata. I-prepare muna sila for the upcoming D-League, kasi ang D-League naman is February 15, pero most likely ang game naman natin is sa March pa. ‘Di naman ka-agad magkakaroon ng games ‘yan,” said Guevarra.

“So sa ngayon kasi wala pa naman linaw, for now ‘yung interimship ko for siguro about a month, ta-trabahuhin lang muna natin is i-prepare ‘yung mga bata kasi galing ‘yang mga ‘yan sa Christmas break so medyo mabibigat ang mga katawan niyan matataba ngayon ‘yan,” he added.

The former Letran Squires Basketball player and Knights Track and Field player vows to help the team build its foundation for their upcoming tournaments.

“Bubuoin natin ‘yung team in short and then come the time na nakapagdecide ‘yung Letran kung sino talaga hahawak ng seniors team, then I’ll turn it over,” he added.

When asked about the possibility of facing the likes of Tab Baldwin, Frankie Lim and Franz Pumaren in the DLeague, Guevarra bared that there will be no difference in his preparation and that he will be making the most out of the situation.

“There’s no difference at all, unless kung siyempre iisipin mo ‘yan, titignan mo ‘yan, matatakot ka. Makikita mo sila coach Frankie, coach Tab pag tinignan mo ‘yan matatakot ka. [Pero] why intimidate yourself kung pwede ko naman i-enjoy ‘yung moment, given the chance siguro na a game or two mahawakan ko sila,” he said.

“Ngayon na ito, mayroon tayong trabaho na na-atas sa atin which is medyo malaking responsibilidad, hindi naman na ako naninibago kasi nanggaling na ‘rin [ako] sa D-League,” Guevarra shared as he served as an assistant before for Caloy Garcia at Racal Motors.

Despite the responsibility, Guevarra will still be handling the Colegio’s under-17 team.

“Usually ang practice naman ng grassroot is hapon, then ang seniors is umaga, hindi naman nag pa-practice ang seniors ng alas cinco eh. So perfect na perfect ‘yon, pwede akong magpa-ensayo sa umaga, sa hapon nandun naman ako sa grassroots ko.

“Hindi naman siya magiging problema actually, mas magandang kombinasyon nga siya,” he added.

Guevarra played for the Squires Basketball team in the NCAA Season 69 back in 1993 and became part of the Seniors team B before switching to Track and Field in College.

(With reports from Miguel La Torre)

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