JUST a little more patience.
While his wards are raring to return to training, Jose Rizal University coach Louie Gonzalez insisted this is not the time to let their guard down.
“We already survived nine months following the health protocols and just being extra careful. (We are) reminding them na nandiyan pa din ang COVID-19 at dapat maging maingat sila sa mga activities nila,” Gonzalez told Malaya-Business Insight yesterday.
“Pare-pareho naman kaming gusto na bumalik sa training, we tell them, pero kaunting pasensya na lang.”
The Commission on Higher Education released the safety and health guidelines for the resumption of varsity training last Oct. 26, pending the green light from the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, while the Philippine Sports Commission crafted the protocols for the conduct of collegiate tourneys last Dec. 11.
Gonzalez, who will call the shots for the Bombers for the second year, said they are adhering to the league’s directions to temper their expectations.
“We are excited pero siyempre iyong safety pa din ang priority. Mas naging mahigpit nga kami sa athletes right now, we are following the lead ni Sir Paul Supan (JRU athletic director), may regular assembly kami palagi with all the coaches and athletes and siya iyong sinusunod namin with the directions ng NCAA to avoid confusion and also to manage expectations of our athletes,” Gonzalez said.
“Tuloy-tuloy lang iyong online trainings namin and also siyempre ang palaging reminder ay ang academics nila ay hindi dapat pabayaan.”
JRU wound up with a 5-13 card in the last NCAA cage wars.
Wingman Agem Miranda, forwards Marwin Dionisio and John Amores, and guard Ry Dela Rosa are expected to lead JRU’s charge along with forward EJ Agbong and playmaker Jason Celis, both of them former Knights, and another new addition in forward Paolo Quiminales from Eulogio “Amang” Rodriguez Institute of Science and Technology.
The Shaw Boulevard-based five last advanced to the Final Four in 2017 under former tactician and pro league great Vergel Meneses.
JRU has not won a crown since 1972 behind PBA legend Philip Cezar.