ARQ Builders-Lapu-Lapu City has new head coach
CEBU CITY, Philippines—The ARQ Builders-Lapu-Lapu City Heroes named a new head coach for their campaign in the Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup.
Rommel Rasmo, who was initially named the team’s head coach, appointed Francis Auquico to be the new bench tactician of the team.
Rasmo, who will now serve as AQR Builders’ team consultant, has worked with the 36-year-old Silay City, Negros Occidental native Auquico.
He was Rasmo’s assistant coach for eight years with the multi-titled Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu (SHS-ADC) Magis Eagles high school basketball team. Auquico is also the assistant program head of the Magis Eagles basketball program.
“Coach Rommel (Rasmo) appointed me as ARQ Builders’ new head coach because he needs to supervise the Magis Eagles basketball program here in Cebu,” Auquico told CDN Digital. “Our basketball program’s fresh recruits are housed and currently having their online study at the old Sacred Heart campus. They really need close supervision, that is why Coach Rommel decided not to join ARQ Builders in the upcoming tournament.”
Auquico said he is ready to take on the challenge to coach a professional basketball team for the first time in his career.
“Coach Rommel gave me this opportunity because he trusts me. So I need to prove everyone that I can take on the challenge of handling a professional team for the first time,” said Auquico. “There are a lot of challenges for me in this tournament and the pressure is starting to mount already. But with the help of my assistant coaches, we can do this.”
Auquico is confident of his team winning the Visayas Leg tournament that features five other professional basketball teams. They will be playing in a bubble setup due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Auquico’s concern is his team’s mental preparedness as they will get separated from their families for roughly a month inside a bubble environment.
“I think we have a fighting chance to win the title, but it is not an overnight achievement. We need to work hard because we are not the top team of this tournament. We will do our best to achieve our goal of becoming the champion,” said Auquico. “Our main concern is the mental preparedness of the players. They will not see their family for almost a month. However, me and the rest of the coaching officials already prepared activities to keep them occupied while inside the bubble.”
ARQ Builders is comprised of Lloyd Solis, Luther Justiniani, Miguel Tabalo, Jerick Cañada, Ferdinand Lusdoc, Hafer Mondrago, Jason Melano, John Abad, Edrian Lao, Rino Berame, Franz and Monbert Arong, and Eman Calo.
“We are starting from scratch. We do not have a concrete formula yet for this team, considering some key players have not arrived yet in Cebu. We are kind of late in terms of preparation, but we can manage this. We still have time to train before we enter the bubble three weeks from now,” added Auquico.
The team is scheduled to start their training camp on Wednesday in Lapu-Lapu City if the Lapu-Lapu City LGU approves their permit. Auquico also stated that his players are currently training by themselves as they wait for the signal to start training camp.
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