DESPITE finally having a new coach in Segundo `Bong’ Dela Cruz, University of Santo Tomas remains unsure of its participation in the upcoming FilOil Flying V Preseason Cup.
Dela Cruz admitted the school is still mulling whether to join or not preseason tournaments in preparation for the coming UAAP wars as he wants to tie all the loose ends first before fielding the Tigers in a tournament.
“Pinag-iisipan pa naming mabuti,” said Dela Cruz, who took over the team following the resignation of Pido Jarencio to coach GlobalPort in the PBA. “As of now kasi, hindi pa kami kumpleto at nangangapa pa.”
FilOil officials earlier said they have a slot reserved for UST if the Tigers confirmed their participation in the annual preseason tournament.
Recently, however, Dela Cruz formally took over the vacant head coaching job by beating out former UST stalwarts Gerard Francisco and Estong Ballesteros, who was also an assistant coach under Jarencio.
UST will have a relatively solid core for the coming UAAP season with only Jeric Teng and Clark Bautista leaving the team after finishing their playing eligibility.
Holdovers of the Tigers include Sinag Pilipinas member Kevin Ferrer, Karim Abdul, Aljon Mariano, and Ed Daquioag.
So far, however, Dela Cruz said the priority of the team is to develop chemistry and cohesion after his appointment as coach.
“Mahirap kasi na sumabog agad sa umpisa pa lang. Ayusin muna namin ‘yung team,” said Dela Cruz.
“Inaayos pa namin ‘yung system. Hindi naman talaga mawawala ‘yung system ni coach Pido. Pero ‘yung adjustment, hindi nakukuha ng overnight. Magkakaroon talaga ng transition,” he added.