NATIONAL University coach Jamike Jarin assures a competitive Bulldogs team as he begins the process of preparing the team for the basketball wars of UAAP Season 80.
After holding his first practice with the Bulldogs last Friday since taking over the squad last month, Jarin made no promises of a quick turnaround, or a championship on his first year. The new NU coach’s only assurance is that the squad will be ready to compete and contend every game in the UAAP next season.
“We are just going to take it slowly. We just try to improve on what we did last year. Let’s see. If we make it to the Final Four, it’s going to be a different story. One thing is for sure, we will be very competitive,” said Jarin.
Jarin takes over the NU program after two seasons with San Beda, where the Red Lions won the 2016 NCAA crown. He also remains one of the assistant coaches of the Meralco Bolts under Norman Black in the PBA, but only until the end of the Philippine Cup.
The veteran coach, though, noted that the new challenge of coaching in the UAAP was too enticing to miss, even as he thanked the MVP group who supported him in his time with San Beda and Meralco.
“It was a situation that presented itself. I’m a coach who likes challenges. This is a new challenge in my life. It’s a new challenge in my career. I’m really an amateur [basketball] coach. I love mentoring, I love the amateur game, I love the high school and college game,” he said.
“It’s an opportunity that presented itself, to coach a UAAP team. I will always be grateful to the MVP group,” added Jarin.
In his first practice with the squad last week, Jarin emphasized that patience will be the most important virtue for the Bulldogs in the months leading up to the UAAP.
“We introduced some of the things we want to do. Everybody is excited,” said Jarin as he described his first practice with NU.
“But still, it has to be a process. Everybody has to be patient, especially me. I’m the new guy going here. I have to be patient on what we want to happen,” Jarin said.
The goal of being competitive, Jarin said, is definitely attainable especially with the support from the school community as the Bulldogs look to bounce back after missing the Final Four last year, which led to the coaching change during the offseason.
“With the experience last year, that’s another year of experience. Hopefully, that experience of not making the Final Four will be enough motivation for the team to get back to the Final Four,” Jarin said.
“Anytime you go into a big program especially in the UAAP, there will be pressure but with management, school officials, a good coaching staff, and the student body, I’m in good hands. I’m blessed. It’s not just my fight, it’s everybody’s fight,” he added.