Coach Allen is seen holding the Coach of the Year award for NCAA season 98 alongside him is Mr. Paul Supan, JRU Management Committee Representative . Courtesy of Thomas Borja of The Lance
With every team that has been formed to succeed is a coach behind the scenes who moulds and unleashes his players to their fullest potential.
After clinching the NCAA Season 98 Juniors' Basketball title, Head coach Allen Ricardo had proven to everyone the capabilities and competence of the Letran Squires as he pushed them to their best and unlocked their astounding skills.
And Letran's 13th Juniors' championship was no easy task even with the 8-1 eliminations record as was all built on blood, sweat, and discipline.
"Yang mga bata na 'yan, ginawa ko munang sundalo for the past two weeks. Sabi ko kailangan niyong ma-overcome ‘yung mga ganitong kahirap na ensayo para pagdating ng ganitong sitwasyin, maitawid niyo ‘yung pressure na nararamdaman niyo," this year's Juniors' coach of the year awardee said.
"Ginawa ko silang parang sundalo. Pinagulong-gulong ko sila sa court, parang military training because I do believe na para makuha ‘yung mga gantong championship series, kailangan paghirapan mo."
As the Squires' strict and tough preparations surely bore fruit as they swept La Salle Green Hills in the finals, coach Ricardo also fulfilled one personal goal - winning the 'chip for his late coach and former Squires' head tactician Fred Reyes.
"I promised to myself... sabi ko kailangan makuha ko 'to. Lagi niyang sinasabi na 'pag nabigyan ka ng break, wag mong sasayangin."
Coach Reyes also steered Letran to a Juniors' title in 1983, which coincidentally, was also the last year the school won the basketball titles in high school and college.