CEBU CITY - UAAP head coaches Juno Sauler of champions La Salle and Derrick Pumaren of the University of the East believes their trip down south will do their teams a world of good.
Sauler, who led La Salle to the UAAP championship in his rookie season, said the team is nowhere near the level it wants to be at but added that playing against Cebu teams will help him gauge where the Green Archers are in their buildup for the coming campaign.
"Iba kasi kapag Manila teams lang palagi ang kalaban. May matututunan kaming lahat if iba naman. Here, we can be exposed to the Cebuano style of play," said Sauler during the press conference for the Filoil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup on Friday.
"We're here to develop our entire team. Not just players but us coaches as well. Sa ngayon, I'd score our preparations at 5 out of 10. We have several rookies and we're still getting to know one another," he said as he was flanked by rookie Prince Rivero and veterans Arnold Van Opstal and Almond Vosotros.
Pumaren, on the other hand, described his team as a "work in progress," just weeks after taking over from Boycie Zamar.
Asked about the biggest difference as he tries to whip the Warriors into a title contender, Pumaren said it is the task of turning UE into a "disciplined team, both on and off the floor."
Hulking center Charles Mammie, who was held out of their first game in this competition for disciplinary reasons, laughed when Pumaren prodded him about the subject.
"His system is tough. But he is a good guy," said the Sierra Leone-born Mammie, drawing laughs from those present.