University of Santo Tomas is determined to implement the “Letran formula” when its new coaches formally call the shots starting Season 86 of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines men’s basketball tournament in September.
Assistant coach Jaren Jarencio said they will bring the same fire, the same intensity, the same system to the Growling Tigers, similar to what they did when they handled the Knights in the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
Jarencio, the son of returning UST coach Pido Jarencio, will be part of the powerhouse bench crew with former Tigers Japs Cuan and Jeric Fortuna as well as consultant Bonnie Tan and team managers Waiyip Chong and Eric Ang.
Under Tan, the Letran program won three straight NCAA titles and successfully sent players to the professional ranks like Jerick Balanza, Ato Ular, Christian Balagasay, Larry Muyang, Jeo Ambohot and Rhenz Abando, the former UST star who now enjoys a breakthrough season in the Korean Basketball League.
The younger Jarencio said they are planning to do the same with UST – a program that has been in the dark cellar after finishing with a disappointing 1-13 win-loss finish last season.
“Coach Bonnie told us to share the winning culture that we did in Letran to UST,” Jarencio, who is in-charge of splicing game footage in real time to give the coaching staff a chance to adjust, told Daily Tribune in a conversation.
“UST also wanted me to do what I did in the NCAA because nobody in the UAAP is doing it.”
HIs father, Pido, stressed that they are out to change the entire culture of the team.
“We’re going to implement the positive approach, we will change the entire culture of the team,” Pido said in an interview with Varsitarian, the official school paper of UST.
“Of course, the players and the entire UST community are feeling down. That’s what we’re going to change.”
But reigning supreme in Season 86 will not be easy.
De La Salle University kicked off the arms race when they plucked Topex Robinson from the Philippine Basketball Association to helm the coaching staff with proven winners like Caloy Garcia, Mon Jose and Oliver Bunyi as deputies.
Far Eastern University also fired warning shots when it tapped its former star in Denok Miranda as chief tactician while Ateneo de Manila University will parade Filipino-Australian big man Mason Amos and University of the Philippines hired rising star Francis Lopez.
Jarencio, whose father delivered the school’s last title in 2006 before coaching NorthPort in the Philippine Basketball Association, vowed to implement the so-called “Letran formula” as soon as possible.
“It’s going to be a long process. We’re not magicians who can turn the team into a champion in eight months,” Jarencio said.
“We will start from scratch and slowly fix things. We’re not rushing it. It’s a long process and it’s going to be very tough.”