LOUIE Gonzalez is in unfamiliar territory with Jose Rizal University winless in three games, but the Bombers coach is unfazed as he sets sights on the future.
Gonzalez, part of champion coaching crews in the NCAA and UAAP, suffered his third straight defeat in the NCAA Season 95 as the JRU Bombers bowed to the Letran Knights on Tuesday in San Juan.
“Actually umookay naman yung mga bata. It’s just that we’re really far from the competition, physically, mentally, maturity, pero again it’s a program na ako naman, we have to go through this process,” said Gonzalez.
“Wala namang overnight talaga, we’re not magicians. Pero as coaches, lagi naming kinakausap yung mga players namin na ang importante right now is the doing. Winning will come after as long as we’re focused and patient.”
Winning has always been synonymous to Gonzalez’ journey as a collegiate coach as he was part of the Letran coaching staff which won the title back in 2015.
He then moved to the UAAP a year later, winning one more title as an assistant coach at La Salle before a short stint as Archers head coach.
Losing might be foreign for Gonzalez but this situation — where he gets to grow with the players — is something he actually wants to be in.
“Sa totoo lang mas gusto ko to. When we had Letran, we had La Salle may mga seasoned players na. This is brand new. Pero sa akin on the long term mas maganda na ako na naglagay ng pundasyon,” said Gonzalez.
“More than coaching, I just really want to touch the lives of my players and guide them moving forward. Happy ako to where I am right now, pero siyempre nakakalungkot lang sa resulta pero we’re gonna get there.”
Though the results may not show it now — The Bombers were beaten by title contenders in their opener as they took on San Sebastian, San Beda and Letran — Gonzalez says he sees improvement.
“Mag focus lang kami sa aming goals. Are we overachieving sa mga personal bests namin? Ayun nalang ang ginagawa namin, with most of the teams, siyempre may seasoned players na,” said Gonzalez.
“Magandang baptism to kasi first games ko, ito yung mga final four contenders so na pakagandang lessons sa mga bata, so I hope heading into the next games mas maging ready at smart kami,” he added.
“I pray na di bumitaw yung players sa proseso. These are young players so unstable pa ang mental toughness nila. Yun lang ang winiwish ko sana wag bumitaw.”