JRU coach Vergel Meneses sees a bright future for Gio Lasquety — as coach of a collegiate team.
When the NCAA Season 93 unfurls in July, Meneses bared Lasquety will serve as a playing assistant coach for the Heavy Bombers.
"Si Gio, lagi namang steady siya. This NCAA season, playing assistant coach na siya," said Meneses after JRU defeated the aftermath of JRU's 67-62 win over UE in the Filoil Premier Cup on Sunday.
The outspoken mentor added they're grooming the fifth-year forward to be the next head coach.
"We're grooming him to be a future head coach of JRU. Nakita ko sa kanya yung mindset niya, alam niya nangyayari sa loob," he said.
Lasquety, 23, was surprised when told by Meneses about it a few months ago but is now ready to take on a bigger role for the team.
"Ni-take ko siya as a challenge. Nabigla ako in the sense na bakit, bakit ako. Pero instead na ma-shock ako, instead, nag-aral-aral na ako mag-coach," he said.
"Hindi na lang ako as a player kung tumitingin sa game, tinitignan ko na rin as a coach para every time na tanungin nila ako, may ma-contribute ako sa kanila."
Lasquety said he is still undecided whether to try the PBA Developmental League or go straight to coaching.
"Yun yung gumugulo sa akin ngayon," he said. "Siguro, depende kung anong mangyayari sa akin ngayon, pero thankful ako kasi pag ‘di ako nakapag-PBA, or pag ‘di ako nagapag-PBA D-League, andyan agad, may coaching agad ako, sa kanya ako agad babagsak."
Right now, Lasquety has yet to get used to being called as coach by his teammates.
"Tawag na sa akin ng teammates ko, ‘coach.’ Ako yung naiilang e kasi halos ilang taon lang tanda ko sa kanila. Naglalaro rin ako," he said.
"Wala pa akong sinisigawan. Sinisigawan na sila ni coach, sisigawan ko pa sila?"