Coach eyes Warriors’ mentality

Jonas Panerio

NEWLY-installed University of San Carlos Warriors head coach Gino Ludovice is aspiring to build a basketball program that lasts.

This is his long-term goal after recently getting the nod to be at the helm of the Warriors, replacing former head coach Bong Abad. A former head coach of the Naga College Foundation Tigers, the veteran head coach got to see his team up close as he conducted several practices before flying back to Manila to tend to his affairs.

“After observing them in practices, USC has a lot of potential. They are young, aggressive and smart men. But we want our team to be known for their unselfish play, defense-first philosophy, and tempo control,” said Ludovice in an interview with SunStar Cebu.

“It always starts with guys who have the desire to do it and the ability to do it and then, maximizing the gifts that they have. To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift,” he added.

Ludovice also recognized that the accomplishment of his target would not happen without collaboration with everyone involved — from the coaches to the players to the school administration and alumni.

He also said he already has a talented and skilled group of players to work with. He just has to make sure the players are able to maximize their capabilities.

“We know coaching basketball is a job that will always keep you on your toes. Coaches at every level have a ton of pressure to succeed and win. Great coaches know the importance of skills training and also knowing the specific skills that each player needs to work on. It’s easier to adjust coaching around skilled players, especially when they arrive to a program well polished. Majority of the time, coaches have to be the ones to bring out the best in each player and this takes time and patience,” said Ludovice.

“Remember that success come from hard work, preparation, and patience. Focus on making your players better and giving them the opportunity to maximize their potential. If you do this, it is much easier to mold your coaching philosophies around your team and will ultimately lead to wins, championships and a fun year.”

The Warriors ended a 57-year title drought in the Cesafi by winning the championship in 2015. However, they have failed to replicate that feat in the last four years, bowing out in the semifinals in the last two seasons. (JNP)