BOY Sablan had his hands full in his first official practice as coach of the University of Santo Tomas, scrambling to maintain order while more than 30 players from Team A and B showed up on Tuesday.
The pressing task for Sablan is to trim down his roster soon with only three months left to prepare for the UAAP, leaving him no choice but to fast-track the process before the collegiate league's September opening.
“Gusto ko na hatiin para makapag-focus na tayo. I have three months left. Anong mangyayari sa amin kung parang palengke? Paano namin matuturuan? Kaya kailangang i-trim down na agad,” said Sablan.
With so little time in his hands, the 52-year-old Sablan bared his plans of holding practice twice a day in order to make up for the lost time.
“Sabi ko nga, double time. We are planning to hold practices in the morning and afternoon including weights in the morning. Ifa-finalize pa ‘yung schedule. Kailangan din may time table kasi baka masunog naman sila,” said Sablan.
Sablan also plans to cut the pool to 18 to 20 players for the UAAP squad immediately. On his first day, the new UST coach asked the players to undergo basic drills on offense and defense to evaluate the players.
“Bukas mag-eensayo na ako (nung 18 to 20). Sayang kasi ‘yung oras. Hindi ako makapag-ensayo ng gusto ko. Nakakahiya rin sa mga bata. Nagpa-basic drills lang ako. Gusto kong makita kung sino marunong shumoot, sino marunong dumepensa at dumribol,” said Sablan.
Sablan, however, said there won’t be shoo-ins in the team, not even holdovers from last season's runner-up team led by Kent Lao, Embons Bonleon, Marvin Lee, Renzo Subido, among others.
“Titignan ko rin ‘yung attitude nila. Baka mamaya may attitude, problema pala. Mabait ako pero kailangang sumunod ka. Hindi naman tayo mahigpit na mahigpit pero ilagay natin sa lugar. Sumunod tayo,” said Sablan.