JOSE Rizal University team captain Jed Mendoza is unsure of playing out his final year in NCAA Season 95 as he is close to finishing his Management course this school year.
The Bombers’ sorry 68-84 loss to College of Saint Benilde Blazers in their last Season 94 game could be Mendoza’s final NCAA game if he accomplishes his academics this year since the league has a rule stating that once an athlete gets a college diploma, he or she will not be eligible anymore.
For now, the fourth-year Management student is still uncertain as for him to be eligible next year he has to shift to another course.
“Hindi ko pa kasi alam eh, hindi pa napaguusapan yung academics ko kasi pwede na ako magfile for graduating,” said Mendoza, who dropped 12 points on 38-percent shooting on Wednesday’s loss at the Arena in San Juan City.
“Hindi pa sarado ‘yung pinto pero depende pa sa paguusapan. Wala pa ko sinasabing final decision,” he sdded.
But the heart of the 6-foot guard says, he wants to play one more year to redeem himself and the Bombers next year.
“Honestly, sa opinion ko talaga, sa akin gusto ko pa maglaro, stay pa, gusto ko pa maging leader sa team,” Mendoza said. “Gusto ko pa maglaro, makasama itong JRU pero hindi pa kasi napaguusapan e so titignan pa natin.”
JRU Head Coach Vergel Meneses will respect whatever will be the decision of Mendoza.
“Ako naman tingin ko, sabi ko nga sa kanya, actually pwede na siya magpagraduate na rin pero pwede pang i-option niya ‘yung one year niya so nasa sakanya ‘yan,” Meneses said. “Pero sabi ko sa kanya kumbaga i-redeem mo ‘yung sarili mo.”
“Hindi naman sa sinasabi nating panget ‘yung performance niya talagang mahina lang ‘yung team pero sabi ko nga sa kanya one more year para next year hindi naman ganyan ‘yung magiging line-up at least may core na talaga na sanay na sa sistema,” he added.
The Heavy Bombers finished 3-15 in Season 94 — the school’s worst record under Meneses’s nine-year tenure. For Mendoza, it’s a huge lesson for them.
“Ako sa akin gusto ko pa rin manalo this game na ‘to pero it’s a learning process pa rin para sa akin,” he said. “Natalo kami hindi pa nagtatapos sa season na ito, nagsisimula pa lang for next year ‘yung mga player namin siguro ngayon nakaexperience na ‘yung mga teammates ko na rookie.”
“Maybe next year mas gutom na kami at sisiguruhin namin na better yung season na ‘to,” he added.
But losing 15 of their 18 games was disappointing for the guard, who averaged 16.1 points, 4.4 rebounds, 3.4 assists prior to this game.
“Siyempre masakit as a captain ball kasi para sa akin triny ko naman ‘yung best ko pero may kulang pa rin siyempre,” Mendoza expressed.
Mendoza, as a leader, takes the blame for the lack of discipline and that’s what he wants to improve if he returns next season for one last ride.
“Napakaraming (natutunan). Hindi kayang isa-isahin pero siguro pinakauna ‘yung discipline. Lack of discipline kami ‘yung discipline namin sa sarili namin especially ako aminin ko na sa sarili kulang ako sa disiplina,” he said. “Siguro gaya ni coach ako isa to blame kung bakit nangyari ‘to sa team namin. I take that as a challenge talaga.”