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    Alcantara crowns Red Robins career with second title. Next stop Cardinals?

    Nov 15, 2018
    PHOTO: Marlo Cueto

    HIS future is unclear, but Randy Alcantara takes solace in knowing that he wrapped up his 11-year tenure as head coach of the Mapua Red Robins on a high.

    "Nagpapasalamat ako na nag-champion kami. Ito ang pinakamasarap dahil alam natin na kulang kami sa tao, pero na-sustain pa rin namin yung ganoong intensity at energy," he said on Thursday after Mapua claimed the NCAA Season 94 juniors championship with a 77-74 Game Three victory over CSB-LSGH sans top gun Clint Escamis.

    "Memorable talaga ito kasi last year ko na sa juniors."

    Alcantara remained non-committal on where his next destination would be, but sources bared the 47-year-old mentor is favored to succeed Atoy Co as head coach of the school's seniors team.

    That can wait as Alcantara relished his second championship in three years for the Red Robins. It was also his fourth trip to the finals over the last half-decade.

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    "Nagsimula ako noong 2008, 0-14 kami noon," he said, looking back at the rough start before turning the Red Robins to a prime destination for blue-chip recruits.

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    "Dati ang Mapua, hindi pinupuntahan ng players. Pero start nung nag-Final Four kami, umabot sa finals, at nanalo ng championship, nagtiwala na sa amin ang mga magulang," said the former Mapua player.

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    "Alam natin na hindi madali mag-recruit, pero talagang pag na-establish mo yung winning tradition, yung mga players magpupunta na sa amin. Lahat ng nagawa namin, malaking tulong para sa programa na binuo namin sa Mapua."

    The rest, as they say, is history.

    With this triumph, Mapua put itself in the conversation among the most successful high school programs in the NCAA as the Red Robins claimed their 22nd juniors title to tie San Beda at the top of the list.

    Alcantara is just grateful for the opportunity to handle these players.

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    "Credit talaga sa players na walang ginawa kundi sumunod lang sa game plan namin. Thank you na nagkaroon ako ng ganitong klaseng mga players," he said.

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    PHOTO: Marlo Cueto
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