WHERE’S Aric del Rosario?
That was the question most people were asking about the multi-titled mentor who carried Parañaque a game away from reaching the finals of the MPBL’s inaugural Anta Rajah Cup and it caught people by surprise when the Patriots released a video of the team’s practice being conducted by a new face — Eric Samson, who is now calling the shots for the team.
Along with the departure of Del Rosario and the other members of the coaching staff, Lester del Rosario and Joselle Angeles, key players of the squad like Juneric Baloria, Daniel de Guzman, Gab Dagonon and Jonathan Belorio, also left the team and moved over to their respective new MPBL squads.
Some of the notable holdovers in the Patriots camp include Jemal Vizcarra, Ryusel Koga and Mac Montilla.
Samson said the team is on a rebuilding stage.
“We’re trying to maximize the days left before the opening to work on our chemistry,” said Samson.
Richard Melencio, former player in the MBA who also saw action with the all-amateur national team in 1997, added that it’s a challenge to get everybody on the same page.
“Bago halos lahat, bagong mga players, bago ang coaching staff. Gusto nating makuha ng players yung sistema na one of the best defensive teams in the MPBL,” added Melencio.
Koga, who had his share of god games during the inaugural season, believes the players who came on board the Patriots this season have something to prove.
“Ito yung mga players na hindi masyadong nabigyan ng playing time and andito sila, gusto nila ipakita kung ano ang pwede nilang ibigay sa team,” he added.