AFTER scoring the marginal basket, Dexter Zamora headed to the Lyceum bench during a timeout.
As he was listening to instructions from coach Bonnie Tan, the fourth-year guard heard Pirates consultant Alfrancis Chua, seated beside Globalport coach Pido Jarencio at the back of the bench, whisper in his ear.
“Sabi niya sa akin, maniwala lang ako sa sarili ko,” Zamora said in a chat with Spin.ph after their game against Emilio Aguinaldo College.
That was all the Pirates’ star guard needed to hear as he grabbed the defensive rebound in the Generals’ final offensive possession that sealed the Pirates’ 73-67 win in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.
“Yung confidence na binibigay nila coach Al sa akin, grabe talaga,” Zamora said later. “Kaya ‘yun, nagbunga naman.”
The plucky playmaker finished with 15 points, five boards, three assists, and two steals in 28 minutes.
More importantly, the Pirates got their third straight win and fourth overall to match their best start in the country’s oldest collegiate league.
Tan’s coaching staff has been a major part of that. After hiring Chua, Ginebra’s current board of governor, as a consultant last year, the Pirates added Glenn Capacio as assistant coach this year.
Apart from them, Jarencio has become a fixture in Lyceum’s games this season.
Tan said Jarencio has no official role with the team, but the Batang Pier mentor is just supporting the Pirates.
Tan is a concurrent assistant at GlobalPort.
And their presence alone has been a big boost for the Pirates, who are aiming to become a regular member in the league.
“Malaking bagay, kasi known na sila sa basketball world eh,” Zamora said. “Marami na silang pinagdaanan. This year nung dumating sila sa team namin, sobrang laki ng tulong nila sa amin kasi mas lalo kaming nag-mature at lalong tumibay yung team.”
“They play a big role sa team.”