By Hency Macapas
As the PBA D-League opens a new season this February 14, the Diliman College Blue Dragons Basketball team is diligently preparing to dominate the courts and bring glory to the school. In an exclusive interview, DC Blue Dragons Basketball Coach Rensy Bajar discusses the team’s preparations as the team enters the league.
What does your team do on a normal training day?
Since UCBL days, our team practices two times a day. We start at 8:00 in the morning with our shooting. After the shooting, by 10:00 in the morning, we work out at the gym. We conduct our court practices at around 6:00 in the afternoon.
How do you prepare for a game?
We still observe the same program and routine just like in UCBL. We had a 1-month break after our championship in UCBL. After that, we went back to our normal training – weights training, agility, skills. Further, as the PBA D-League is fast approaching, we are preparing our offense and defense. We are focused on training the new members of the team and polishing the performance of our incumbent players.
How do your players balance their academic and athletic responsibilities?
This semester is very important because this is the eligibility semester of the UCBL. If ever they fail to comply with their academic requirements, they will not be allowed to play in the UCBL, and even in PBA D-League, lose their scholarship. That’s why our training schedules are structured to give way for their classes. There are times that we conduct our practices at 6:00 PM since we have athletes who are dismissed in class. Here at Diliman College, we strongly require our student-athletes to study hard.
What is your philosophy in coaching your team?
As a team, our battle cries are “team first, before myself” and “hard work, defense, and commitment.” Those are the only things I require my players. If a player misses just one of those principles, the whole team will not reach its goal to win the game. Of course, I also remind them to have a strong faith in God. I also tell them to work as a team, as a family, just like what I envision Diliman College to do in support of our athletic leagues.
What does our team have that others don’t?
I think, what I always remember with the dragon is fire. The behavior of the dragons, which is to exhale fire signifies the intensity that I see in our team. Further, dragons are also perceived to be lucky which adds to the team’s drive to win.
How does the team bond off-court?
We are like a family. Inside the court, I am like Hitler, I am their worst enemy. But outside the court, I am their friend, their father. We crack jokes after practices. But during our practices and games, I always correct them most especially when they tend to be lazy. I am very strict during training and games. But after the practices or games, we are all friends. Most of the time, we bond with each other in the weights room. I set a program like a team building.
What is the team’s greatest achievement that you are very proud of?
The number one that I consider as an achievement is when my players graduate. I have a lot of players that have graduated already who are all under the athletic scholarship that they have enjoyed as a student-athlete of Diliman College. Next is our achievements on the court. For the past two years, we had 18 championships from various leagues. These achievements are all fulfilling for me as their coach and second father.
What can you advise to aspiring Diliman College basketball players?
Know your passion and always dream big. When you go for a try-out, see to it that you are prepared not to lose the opportunity to be picked. You don’t just go to a try-out just because you were forced by your friend to come over, or you just like to sweat. When you try something that you really want, you should not let go of that opportunity and do everything to get into the team.