LETRAN coach Jeff Napa is setting a realistic target for the defending champion Knights in the coming NCAA Season 92, setting his sights on a Final Four appearance before even thinking about repeating their Cinderella run to the crown last year.
"Of course, all the coaches want to win a championship. But for us, we're thinking of just surviving the long elimination round and make it to the Final Four," said Napa, who took over Aldin Ayo early this year when the latter left to coach La Salle in the UAAP.
"And then we'll see what happens there," he added.
Napa, however, will be hard-pressed to duplicate Letran's fairy tale run last season when the Knights, a team not many thought could make the Final Four, went on to defy the odds and beat everyone including the heavily favored San Beda Lions in the finals.
What makes a Letran repeat tougher is the departure of last season's leaders Mark Cruz and Kevin Racal to the pros, and the entry of a new coach. The Knights failed to make it to the playoff round of the Filoil Flying V Premier Cup early this month.
Without Racal and Cruz, Rey Nambatac and McJour Luib are now tasked to lead the team this season while Bong Quinto, Jomari Sollano, Felix Apreku, Jerrick Balanza and John Calvo will also play bigger roles.
Despite the odds, Napa and the Knights have a firm believer in their coach Ayo.
"I have strong faith in Letran. We did it last year, why can't we do it now?," said Ayo right after he steered La Salle to the Filoil crown.