WHAT keeps Jose Rizal University coach Louie Gonzalez pleased despite the deadly COVID-19 pandemic and some teams going through trying times ranging from controversies and player transfers?
It’s the fact the Heavy Bombers are intact and ready to go back to the gym once it is allowed.
“(I’m) happy dahil buo pa din iyong team in spite of the uncertainties, just monitoring both academics and trainings, continue pa din iyong individual workouts namin and team meetings, dinagdagan lang namin ng load and frequency,” Gonzalez told Malaya-Business Insight.
“The team is excited that slowly nagkakaroon na ng clearance, but we know not in the near future,” he added.
The Commission on Higher Education’s technical working group bared last Oct. 8 the draft of its health and safety guidelines for the collegiate league teams’ return to training in an online public consultation, where stay-in training inside the school premises are highly encouraged.
The set-up is similar to the bubble situation the Joint Administrative Order group approved for pro leagues such as the PBA, Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3, and Philippines Football League.
Unlike the pros, however, these bubble set-ups for collegiate teams are limited only for training and practices.
Gonzalez, who will call the shots for JRU for the second straight season, said he is tempering his expectations.
“We are managing our expectations kasi baka ma-overwhelm iyong players,” he said. “We just do the most that we can with utmost consideration with the health guidelines.”
The Bombers 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 Solis, who both transferred from Letran, and another new addition in forward Paolo Quiminales from Eulogio “Amang” Rodriguez Institute of Science and Technology.
The Shaw Boulevard-based crew last advanced to the Final Four in 2017 under former tactician and pro league great Vergel Meneses.
JRU has not won a title since 1972 behind PBA legend Philip Cezar.