FORMER Letran coach Louie Alas has high hopes for the Knights after the school was able to recruit blue-chip college players recently.
Alas said the future is even brighter for the Knights, who despite being the defending champions in the NCAA still beefed up their roster. Leading the recruits of Letran is Rhenz Abando, who transferred following a stellar stint with University of Santo Tomas.
“Super lalim,” said Alas during a recent interview with SPIN. “Ang tingin ko sa kanila, Ateneo ng NCAA.”
Led by head coach Bonnie Tan, the Knights captured the NCAA crown last year against San Beda, which prior to the championship defeat won 13 titles out of the previous 16 seasons.
Alas etched a mark in Letran basketball, winning three championships for the Knights. The team has since captured two more championships under two different coaches in Aldin Ayo in 2015 and Tan last year.
Alas expects the Knights to figure once again in the championship with Abando now on the team along with fellow University of Santo Tomas players Ira Bataller and Brent Paraiso.
“Kita mo naman ‘yung Ateneo. Champion na, back-to-back-to-back pero recruit pa nang recruit. Ang Letran, ganun din. Champion tapos ang dumating pa, hindi lang kung sinong player lang. Mga Class A players pa. Same thing happened sa Ateneo. Mga Class A ang dumating,” said Alas.
Alas said Letran is now the kind of team that will have a big target on their backs. “Ang sarap talunin,” said Alas if he is on the opposing team.
Alas, however, doesn’t want to conclude that the Knights are on their way to becoming a dynasty in the NCAA.
“With the rate they are going, hindi ko masasabi dynasty pero ayaw mong makalaban. Ang lakas talaga. Hindi lang malakas. Mighty. Parang San Miguel sila ng NCAA,” Alas added.