Rector and President of Letran Manila, Rev. Fr. Clarence Victor Marquez, OP. knighted the Letran Knight's newest coach, Rensy Bajar. Image courtesy of Yvonne Altaire Solon of The LANCE.
All ends lead to new beginnings.
Rensy Bajar is the newest head coach of Colegio de San Juan de Letran after being appointed following the departure of three-time defending champion coach Bonnie Tan. Bajar is set to take reign of the four-peat-seeking Knights ahead of the NCAA Season 99 Men’s Basketball Tournament.
Bajar, who was an assistant coach for Tan’s squad since season 95, admitted that there are mixed feelings about this development as he inherits a team fresh off of a title run but also embraces this new challenge for his coaching career.
“Masaya siyempre na nakaka-kaba dahilang unang una, yung nag turnover sa’kin is the three-peat coach Bonnie Tan. Alam naman na’tin kung san nang galing yung Letran for the past three seasons.”
Adding to the challenge is the departure of five of Letran’s key players, namely Fran Yu, Louie Sangalang, Brent Paraiso, Season 98 Finals MVP King Caralipio, and four-time champion Tommy Olivario, and the former Diliman College head tactician bared that it is now up to the holdovers, with his guidance, to take charge and lead the team as they look to keep the crown in Intramuros.
“Sabi ko nga sa kanila, this is their time to shine. We start from kung (sino) man yung mga player namin ngayon na andyan,” he adds.
“Mag-rerely pa rin kami dun sa mga beterano namin, like Kurt Reyson, Paolo Javillonar, Kobe Monje, Andrey Guarino, tapos may rookie tayo, si Deo Cuajao. Sila yung core ng team, kailangan nilang buhatin yung team talaga this coming season.”
The former San Beda Red Cub and Red Lion, who signed a two-year contract with the Knights, was introduced on Monday by Fr. Clarence Victor Marquez, OP, and athletic director Fr. Vic Calvo, OP., and will be joined by the returning assistant coaches Raymund Tiongco and Lou Gatumbato as they look to build continuity despite the changes, all for the success of the team.
Conditioning coach Rap Avenido and assistant team manager Joey Uy will also remain with the team while joining them are Matthew Sia and John Paul Caparas.