MOMENTS after Pido Jarencio led University of Santo Tomas to a second straight trip to the UAAP men's basketball finals, national coach Chot Reyes fired a tweet that perhaps best captures in words the essence of the outspoken coach and his success with the Tigers.
And it best describes the enigma that is Pido Jarencio.
"AND u can say what u want about Pido's style/antics," the Gilas coach posted on his Twitter account @coachchot, "But u cnt deny that he gets his players to play hard always, & That's 50% of d battle."
Jarencio, of course, is hands down the most colorful character in college basketball these days - a no-nonsense drillmaster who seemed like a throwback to the days of the Dalupans and the Silverios when coaches are more into 'wido' than the game's Xs and Os.
The former UST star is also outspoken, sometimes brash. He is not afraid to speak his mind and often ends up stirring controversies because of it - as he had done with former Ateneo coach Norman Black in last year's finals and with National University star Bobby Ray Parks' in this season's Final Four.
But as Reyes pointed out, there's no doubt the guy can coach.
Asked by Spin.ph to expound on his tweet on Sunday, Reyes said: "Hawak n'ya ang mga players n'ya. That's very important. That's the reason he can bring the best out of his players, especially in the big games."
The Gilas coach added: "May mga nagsasabi na sinisindak n'ya ang mga players, na kesyo may mali ... but he gets his players to play hard - always."
But when asked who he thinks will win the title series, Reyes, without batting an eyelash, said: "La Salle."
He later expounded on his choice, but that is for another story.