STARTING from scratch? That’s not a problem for new Centro Escolar University coach Jeff Napa.
After he took over from veteran mentor Derrick Pumaren last month, Napa hit the ground running for CEU, which will be tested in the PBA D-League Aspirant’s Cup starting March 2 at the Paco Arena in Manila due to the threat posed by the deadly coronavirus.
Understandably, the Scorpions, who will be known as Karate Kid-CEU, are bracing for a tough battle in the season-opening tourney.
For Napa, it is their version of “trust the process.”
“CEU is a work in progress,” Napa told Malaya-Business Insight yesterday. “We don’t have expectations. Wala. No pressure because we are in a rebuilding process.”
To boost their school-based core, the Scorpions signed up former University of the East center John Apacible, University of the Philippines wingman David Murrell, and former Adamson University playmaker Jerie Pingoy.
Napa is counting on their three draft picks to provide the much-needed leadership savvy for the Mendiola-based crew.
“(We signed up) Apacible, Murrell, and Pingoy. Okay naman sila,” said Napa of the trio.
“Malaki ang maitutulong nila sa team because of their experience and lalo na dahil wala kaming foreign player, all-locals ang line-up namin.”
Defending NCAA champion Letran, which will carry the colors of Wangs-Letran, Builders Warehouse-University of Santo Tomas, Marinerong Pilipino, and AMA Senior High headline the 12-team field.
Completing the cast are the Scorpions, Apex Fuel Mindanao-San Sebastian College, SEAOIL-Far Eastern University, Diliman College, Technological Institute of the Philippines, Family Mart-Enderun Colleges, and newcomers EcoOil-La Salle and Mapua University.