A REBUILDING Jose Rizal University hosts the first NCAA on Tour in Season 94 as it takes on Mapua University in their home floor on Thursday in Mandaluyong.
Coach Vergel Meneses looks to pull off a few surprises off his sleeve but admits that it will still be hard for them this season.
Meneses is hoping that guys like Jed Mendoza and MJ Dela Virgen can pick up the slack this season after losing key guys like Tey Teodoro, Ervin Grospe and Gio Lasquety from last year's team.
"Now, we're on a rebuilding process ngayon. Parang ang naiwan sa aking players, aapat lang from the past season. I'm not expecting too much from them kasi bago nga yung team," said Meneses.
The Cardinals on the other hand have been preparing hard this season as they look to leave behind a forgettable Season 93.
Double-double machine Christian Bunag will be joining forces with veterans Exie Biteng and Laurenz Victoria to man the fort for the Cardinals who are still looking for an identity in the post Allwell Oraeme era.
Coach Atoy Co is dreaming high as he targets a return to the Final Four but insists that it's a process.
"Siyempre sana makarating kami sa final four pero one game at a time yan," said Co.
"Ngayon ang focus namin ang JRU. We will do our best against them and hopefully magtuloy tuloy," he added.