Knights have a lot of catching up to do

THERE are still four months before Letran opens its title-retention bid in the NCAA men's basketball tournament.

The month of March was supposed to be the time when to gauge the Knights' form.

But with the PBA D-League postponed indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Letran's build-up is on hold.

"Pakumpleto palang kami nun since kakatapos lang ng stints nung ibang players namin sa MPBL," said Knights coach Bonnie Tan in an interview with school paper The Lance.

Tan was referring to Larry Muyang and Ato Ular, who both reported back to Letran when the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine was enforced.

"Actually, lagi ko kino-compare yung calendar namin last year to this year. During this time last year, naglalaro na kami ng competitive basketball sa D-League e. We had a good run nun. Sayang nasira yung momentum ngayon," said Tan.

The Knights, representing the banner Wang's, played one game so far in the D-League.  Wang's-Letran dropped a 90-102 decision to EcoOil-La Salle in a game where they sorely missed Muyang and Ular.

While the D-League is on a hiatus, King Caralipio and Mark Sangalang are currently working on their respective shoulder injuries while the rest of the Knights are doing personal workouts to stay in shape.

"Lahat ng players natin, pinauwi ko na lahat. But before that, I asked them kung mayroon ba silang uuwian na safe. Sabi naman nila oo. This happened before the flights were canceled. Lahat sila naka-book ng flights sa kanikanilang mga province," said Tan.

Once the lockdown is lifted, Letran has a lot of catching up to do.

"Actually sa akin naman, better yung nangyari na nasa baba kami nun para hindi mag-relax yung mga players. Pero pag natapos nito, siguradong back-to-basics kami," said Tan, who is on his second year with the Knights.

Unlike from its traditional July opening, NCAA Season 96 will now begin in August with Letran as host.