The first round of NCAA Season 92, which airs on ABS-CBN Sports + Action, is done and now all the teams have shifted to a higher gear to secure a Final Four slot. While all coaches are coming in prepared to lead their teams, some of them also carry memories from their time as student-athletes.
From inside the playing court, to orchestrating the whole team from the sidelines, here are some of NCAA Season 92’s players-turned-coaches.
1.) Vergel Meneses
Played for: JRU Heavy Bombers
Coaches: JRU Heavy Bombers
Coach Vergel has been one of those rare superstar cagers that translated success on-court to the sidelines. Known as a high-flyer ever since his college days, Meneses has solidified the Heavy Bombers’ program in recent years, bringing the team to new heights as they remain contenders year in and year out. He is also one guy to quip notable sound bites post-game, giving viewers more reasons to stay tuned to NCAA games.
2.) Topex Robinson
Played for: San Sebastian Stags
Coaches: Lyceum Pirates
He wasn’t the star of his former collegiate squad for that was his teammate, Rommel Adducul. Nevertheless, Robinson made his mark as a defensive-minded point guard and competent pass-first point guard that helped San Sebastian achieve a five-peat in 1997. Robinson would then guide the Stags in epic NCAA battles in 2011 and 2013, but is still chasing his first ring as an NCAA coach.
3.) Jeff Napa
Played for: NU Bulldogs
Coaches: Letran Knights
Napa was one of the best scorers during his time in the UAAP, where he played for the NU Bulldogs. After leading the Bullpups to three crowns in five years, he brought his talents to the NCAA where he is now trying to steer Letran to back-to-back titles in the NCAA.
4.) Jerry Codinera
Played for: UE Red Warriors
Coaches: Arellano Chiefs
Codinera was the stalwart of the last University of the East Red Warriors title team that won in 1985. Known as the “Defense Minister,” Codinera held the fort in the paint while also posing a huge challenge to his defenders on the other end. Right now, he’s leading the Arellano Chiefs in the NCAA with a brilliant guard combo in Jiovanni Jalalon and Kent Salado.
5.) Atoy Co
Played for: Mapua Cardinals
Coaches: Mapua Cardinals
The “Fortune Cookie” is considered one of the basketball greats in the land. He has also led the resurgence of the Mapua basketball program, inspiring his wards to play with passion like he was known for back in the days. Despite just being in the sidelines, Co continues to be a crowd favorite with his colorful personality and his quotable quotes during interviews.
The coach is an integral part of any sports team, professional or amateur. He is the captain of the ship, the one to keep players in check, the motivator and mentor, someone who promotes to his team the value of courage, passion, and teamwork. Which NCAA coach will lead his team to the Finals this season?
Find out if these players-turned-coaches can use their experience as players in the race to the Final Four! Catch them fight for school pride at NCAA Season 92 every Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday starting at 12nn on ABS-CBN Sports + Action. For more information, log on to sports.abs-cbn.com or follow their Facebook page and Twitter (@abscbnsports).