Given another major opportunity in the sport that he loves the most, newly signed Letran head coach Jeff Napa would not allow himself to pass up on another chance at making a dent in the game of basketball.
Eaten by regret after passing up on the chance to be a professional player following a successful collegiate career with National University, the 35 year old mentor knows that this is an opportunity that he cannot let pass.
“Siyempre nung player ako may mga regrets ako na nawalan ako ng gana magbasketball,” Napa said stating that he lost the motivation to play after the death of his father.
“Ngayon ayoko na magkaron ng regret. Para alam ko na kahit ano mang mangyari, mag-success man o magfail, hindi ko pagsisihan ang mangyayari,” he added.
Napa said that even though he’s already established himself within the system of NU, the idea of challenging himself in repeating what Aldin Ayo did last year for Letran and that is to win a championship in his rookie year.
“Factor talaga yun defending champion sila. Gusto ko ma-experience kung ano yung competitiveness, very competitive ang NCAA, makikita naman natin na mataas na level ang NCAA,” he said. “It’s a big challenge for me na handa akong harapin.”
Indeed, a big challenge awaits Napa as he’s set to handle a Letran squad minus Mark Cruz and Kevin Racal who recently left due to graduation.
Napa, who signed a three-year contract, will be having the likes of McJour Luib, Rey Nambatac and Jom Sollano to lead his squad next year.
“Hindi ko iniisip na may nawala. Ang alam ko lang yung mga naiwan, kayang napunan yung mga nawala. Sanay naman ako sa no-superstar na team. Siguro yun ang madadala ko dito. Hindi ko iniisip kung sino may pangalan,” he said while also adding that he sees some of his style in his predecessor in Ayo, saying that they both like to preach defense.
“May similarity naman kami talaga, halos the same lang. Sa NU lang talaga, given na i-maximize ang talent ko. Ang Letran, kailangan ko lang mamaximize yung talent nila.”
But it’s not all about the pressure for Napa as he expressed gratitude after being welcomed by the Letran community with open arms.