National U reloaded not only on its current pack of Bulldogs but also on its coaching staff.
Pro league great Alvin Patrimonio and renowned strength and conditioning coach Dan Rose have been included to the NU’s coaching staff, giving the Bulldogs’ additional boost in their preparations for the UAAP Season 79 men’s basketball tourney in September.
Patrimonio, 49, a four-time MVP in the pro ranks, has been tasked to focus on helping the Bulldogs’ big men, including promising Matthew Aquino, improve, knowing they are in for a tough battle against foreign and local counterparts from top UAAP contenders.
“His job is to really help the bigs,” said NU coach Eric Altamirano of Patrimonio following the Bulldogs’ 59-54 win over the St. Benilde Blazers on Wednesday in the 2016 Filoil Flying V Preseason Premier Cup. “We have a lot of bigs who are still young and needs guidance. He’s a big help sa team namin.”
According to Altamirano, Patrimonio, who served the same role with University of Santo Tomas last year, is expected to provide the leadership more than anything else to the Bulldogs, something that he saw during their coach-and-player tandem with Purefoods (now known as Star) highlighted by their successful title run in the 1997 All-Filipino Cup.
Since Patrimonio’s daughters, Cristine and Clarice, are currently part of NU’s tennis teams, signing up him to be part of the Bulldogs’ cage squad proved easier according to Altamirano.
“It was a collective decision on our part kasi ‘yung mga anak niya are also playing for NU. I have coached him before and I know what he can do. ‘Yung leadership niya and just his mere presence, malaking bagay na ‘yun to inspire the boys,” he said.
Altamirano added they also tapped Rose since the Bulldogs are out to thrive with their run-and-gun system.
“You saw how we’re gonna play this season. We’re gonna play an up-tempo game so we need coach Dan to prepare the boys physically,” he said. – By Jerome Lagunzad
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