The College of the St.Benilde Blazers are working double time to find the cohesion with the short preparation time it has under new head coach Charles Tiu.

Photo from Charles Tiu Instagram

Tiu shared the team is trying to find the rhythm as the Blazers lean on its newcomers to improve its previous 9-9 record and fifth place finish in Season 95.

“I’d say yung preparation namin medyo kulang pa kasi we’re probably one of the last teams to start training sa NCAA dahil sa mga protocols,” rued Tiu.

“I feel I’m a few weeks away pa. We just have to make do, malakas pa yung unang kalaban namin defending champions agad,” added the coach.

Tiu has huge expectations on former UP Fighting Maroons and NCAA Juniors MVP Will Gozum as he starts a new chapter with CSB. Gozum is eager to make up for lost time after a forgettable two-season stint with the Maroons.

“He will get a lot of opportunities here but syempre he still has a lot of work to do, a lot of learning and growing up. Hopefully before this season ends, we kind of grasp what we want him to do but expectations to be honest are a bit high for him,” Tiu said of the 6-foot-7 big man.

Another player who could be a valuable piece for the Blazers this season is its one-and-done player Alfonso Benson.

“He will get a lot of playing time also for us, syempre yung challenge niya is to really follow our system. I’m hoping he can get it done because we need him,” he added.

Daunting task it may seem to compete for a playoff spot against the top teams but the first-year mentor said the focus right now is to help his young talented squad find its identity especially with rookies like Miguel Marcos, Mark Sangco, and Ladis Lepalam coming in for CSB.

“Sa akin, just basically do our best every game. I just want to see the players improve on and off the court and help them become the better version of themselves as we go here in CSB. Everything else will follow.

Tiu and the Blazers will get their baptism of fire as they take on defending champions Letran Knights in the season opener on Saturday, March 26

Source: Manila Bulletin (