When news of NU eyeing Jamike Jarin and Jeff Napa for their vacant head coaching job surfaced, fans were left in shock. Sure, Coach Napa made sense given his history as the NU Bullpups head coach, but Jamike Jarin? It made absolutely no sense.
Yet somehow, four days after the aforementioned report first surfaced, the legendary youth coach was already reportedly headed to the Bulldogs’ lair in Sampaloc. The reaction towards the hiring can be summed up with this:
It was just a regular day, with most people smiling (in an ideal world) and going about their days. But then, news struck and…
It was surprising to many, especially to Bedans who saw Coach Jamike steer their squad to a championship during the end of NCAA Season 92. It was a magical end to a roller-coaster season, and all eyes were set on the team possibly going for a back-to-back. Sadly, the Red Lions will have to complete the task without their former head coach, and someone who will “always be a part of the Bedan family,” as said by Red Lions Team Manager Jude Roque.
That was the past, and where we find ourselves now is Coach Jamike Jarin with the NU Bulldogs program. It’s important to take note of first, how does this hiring affect the Bulldogs, and the rest of the league?
Here are our assessments:
From Coach Eric to Coach Jamike
Coach Eric Altamirano was a coach who was very methodical when it came to his tactics as a coach. He was never one who relied on fast break attacks when it came to his offense, and he was clearly a firm believer of the mantra “Defense Wins Championships”, with his teams often making it to the Top 3 in terms of Defensive Rating. The sole exception to that was recently this Season 79, where the Bullpups finished 3rd to the last in the league in terms of DRTG.
It wasn’t a matter of Coach Eric being an incompetent coach. It was just a matter of his personnel not being able to fit the needs of his system. Players like Rev Diputado, Matt Salem and JJ Alejandro are able defenders, but they’re best known for their work on the offensive end. Diputado is an ace playmaker, while Salem and Alejandro are two knockdown shooters who can make it rain in an instant. These kinds of players require a type of game that is fast paced, but are also capable in the half court setting.
Coach Jamike happens to be a coach who brings that. He mainly utilizes a press with his defense, but is also able to adjust when need be. Even though his teams usually play at a very fast pace, he can also make his teams whip the ball well enough to create open looks in the half court setting.
He’s also best known for using guards in his teams, as his squads (whether it be San Beda, the Blue Eaglets or any of the Batang Gilas teams) have featured guards as the leader of the team’s offense. Jolo Mendoza, Kiefer Ravena, Radge Tongco and Baser Amer are just some of the names who he has utilized in the past.
In NU, Coach Jamike immediately has a guard who he can lean on in Rev Diputado. Diputado is best known or organizing a team, but his pesky defense and quiet ability to take over game are abilities that Coach Jamike will surely be able to use.
That’s not to say that bigs won’t do well with the High School basketball legend. He was able to utilize Donald Tankoua and NCAA Season 92 Finals hero Arnaud Noah well during his stint in San Beda, while bigs like Paolo Romero and Ivan Enriquez were of use in his time as the Blue Eaglets tactician.
To sum it all up, Jamike is a coach who’s able to give you the best of both worlds. Coach Eric had trouble adjusting his system to his personnel. For the case of Jarin, it won’t be of surprise if the Bulldogs are immediately able to click under him.
Other than playing on the hardwood, recruitment is of utmost importance when it comes to creating results on the basketball court. Jamike isn’t a particularly known recruiter by any means (He did miss out on Andrei Caracut), but he brings one ace to the recruiting game: His famed ability to develop players.
Jolo Mendoza and Kiefer Ravena are arguably two of the best players who he has been able to mentor in the youth level. The list also includes names such as the Nieto twins, Paul Desiderio, and you could even make a case for AC Soberano. The point is that Jamike is an able developer of talent.
But aside from developing skills, Jamike is well-known for how he is able to shape his players as people. His strict approach is notorious even during his days as a coach for the Ateneo Blue Eaglets. This was something which did not sit well with some parents, but for most of his players, this approach changed their view not only on the game of basketball, but also in life.
It’s this strict approach which may make or break the recruiting pitch of someone like Jamike Jarin. Is his approach too much for parents of a 17 year old kid entering into college? Or is it something that will convince the kid and their parents that this is the way to go when it comes to the player’s development? That’s for us to find out come the next few months.
The Effect Jarin has on the Rest of the UAAP
To be quite frank about it; not that big.
Even though Jarin projects to be a better coach for an NU team looking for a revamp in terms of its system offensively and defensively, his hiring to the Sampaloc-based squad simply won’t serve to be one that will create a ripple effect to the rest of the league.
The Bulldogs, despite their load of talent, is a team that is young and unproven. Losing their main big in Alfred Aroga simply does nothing to help the cause of NU. Probably if this were any other season, this is a hiring that would have sent shockwaves to the rest of the teams. Sadly, competition has stiffened over the years.
For one, the DLSU Green Archers are the defending champions and they still have Ben Mbala back on their rosters (plus a bunch of other recruits). The prospect of Aldin-Jamike is certainly an interesting one, but a deeper look presents to us something that sides well with La Salle.
The Ateneo Blue Eagles made great strides in a span of one season, and with Coach Tab Baldwin possibly coming back for one more run for a championship, an even better Blue Eagle team is in the works. Oh, and guys like Gian Mamuyac, Tyler Tio and Gabby Reyes haven’t even played for the team yet. That’s a deep crop of talent.
Then, there’s teams like the FEU Tamaraws who will have most of their team back plus Hubert Cani and a certain guy who’s Born To Score. The Adamson Soaring Falcons will have their core back next season, and Coach Franz Pumaren leading the charge. The UST Growling Tigers look to reload with Steve Akomo making his debut next season.
In short, it’s not looking too well for Coach Jamike Jarin for his first season as NU Bulldogs head coach. The Bulldogs are an extremely young and raw team, and the challenge for Jamike is to be able to develop the team quick enough so that they can contend for a Final Four slot. With the level of competition, it isn’t looking like an easy road for the Bulldogs.
If anything, expect Season 80 for NU to be a rebuilding one. Jamike Jarin will be a fit for a rebuild, as his ability to develop young players is unprecedented. The true fruits of this hiring will not immediately, but, more likely, a year or two down the road.