WITH five-time champion Ateneo looking like a shade of its old, dominant self, Blue Eagles coach Bo Perasol has one request to the team's supporters.
“Please don’t judge us now, but judge us after this season,” said the Eagles' rookie coach.
Ateneo is off to its worst start in seven years after losing to the National University Bulldogs, 54-64, and the Far Eastern University Tamaraws, 75-79, to kick off Perasol's debut season with the team.
Perasol, however, said the first two matches cannot serve as the true yardstick of the team's worth considering it's too early in the season and the Blue Eagles have already been ravaged by a raft of injuries.
“Hindi pa ito ang true potential ng team namin," said Perasol, formerly coach of the Coca-Cola franchise in the PBA. "Kasi hindi pa kami kumpleto and hindi pa 100 percent ang health nung mga players namin.”
Ateneo faces a daunting schedule to start the campaign, with a match-up against much-improved rival De La Salle awaiting the Blue Eagles on Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Perasol, though, is confident the Eagles, once at full strength, will put their act together.
“Sana there’s a time in between na sana aabot pa kami. And when that time comes, lumabas yung tunay na potential talaga,” Perasol said. “Siguro mga two, three games. Sana the soonest.”
The problem is, the Eagles can't seem to shake off the injury bug.
The team has been hobbled by injuries to key players Boy Eram, Gee-boy Babilonia and Kiefer Ravena. Another key player, Ryan Buenafe, is still trying to regain his old form after focusing on his studies in the offseason.
“Katulad nyan, ngayon lang bumalik yung mga big men. Hindi nga nakapag-training ng maayos yang mga yun nung summer. Bumalik yung big men, si Kiefer naman yung na-injure,” said Perasol.
“It’s just a matter of time, na hindi naman mahaba.”