JOSE Rizal University coach Vergel Meneses questioned the readiness of third-year guard Jed Mendoza to take the lead for his side this NCAA Season 94.
“Siguro baka hindi pa niya kayang i-handle yung pressure,” wondered the PBA great on the heels of the Heavy Bombers’ 72-60 defeat to Mapua on their home floor on Thursday.
Mendoza, last year’s Most Improved Player, was a minus-14 for JRU in his 26 minutes on the floor, finishing with 11 points on 11 shots, to go with five assists and two rebounds against two turnovers.
That effort, however, isn’t enough for Meneses, who wants Mendoza to not just be the team’s leading scorer but to embrace being the team’s undisputed leader.
“Di naman ako nagkukulang ng pagsasabi sa kanya na hindi porket you’re the captain ball, you’re the go-to guy or leader, you will not pass the ball. I hope after this na talo kami, kailangan ma-realize niya yun,” he said.
Meneses’ displeasure, though, isn’t limited to Mendoza alone but also the whole team as well after the Heavy Bombers delivered an absolute eyesore of a performance in their season opener.
“Actually, ine-expect ko naman yan eh. We’re a new team and rebuilding. Pero ang sabi ko lang sa kanila, mag-hustle lang kayo,” he rued.
“Yung Mapua, hindi naman parang Lyceum o San Beda, pero they keep on working hard. Ang puhunan nitong kabila, effort lang and they trust one another. Pero yung sa amin kanina, expected ko na yun kasi bago lahat eh. Sabi ko sa kanila, magkakamali at magkakamali kayo pero humihinto sila eh. Nawawala, biglang humihinto, iibahin na naman (yung play).”
Numbers backed up Meneses’ claims, with JRU shooting 33-percent on the floor and got beat on the boards, grabbing 44 rebounds to Mapua’s 54.
“Siguro hangga’t maaga, they should realize that,” Meneses lamented.
JRU will have its work cut out as it tests San Beda on Tuesday.