La Salle coaches eager to learn from Coach Pop
MANILA, Philippines – The coaches of UAAP champions De La Salle are eager to add to their knowledge of the game as they observe the training camp of the San Antonio Spurs in Texas.
Green Archers head coach Juno Sauler and assistants Allan Caidic and Jun Limpot are in San Antonio this week, where they will observe the training of the Spurs, last season’s losing NBA finalists, according to Joaquin Henson of The Philippine Star.
In his “The Dean’s Corner” column, Henson said the La Salle coaches will watch two pre-season games at the AT&T Center before flying home next week.
Meanwhile, all three coaches told Henson that they are looking forward to observing the different aspects of the Spurs’ training camp, with the famously stoic Sauler keeping a watchful eye on San Antonio head coach Gregg Popovich.
“I’m excited to observe how Coach Pop relates with his players, what he says before and after a game,” said Sauler.
Though they may not be able to speak with Popovich directly, Sauler said just observing the champion coach conduct practice “will be an experience of a lifetime.”
“I’m looking forward to learning a lot from Coach Pop and his staff,” he said.
Caidic, La Salle’s shooting coach, told Henson that he will observe the Spurs’ shooting drills, but is also excited to watch Popovich in action.
“We can learn so much from him,” said Caidic, who has received a lot of credit for improving the Green Archers’ free throw shooting percentage. “I hope to figure out how Coach Pop approaches a game, how he deals with his players, how he motivates them.”
Limpot, the Archers’ big man coach, is looking to observe Tim Duncan and the other Spurs big men.
“I’ll watch what drills they do, where they position themselves, and how they – particularly Tim – communicate with teammates,” he said.
Meanwhile, Henson quoted a La Salle insider who said that the trip to San Antonio was not a reward to the coaches for winning the UAAP title – their first since 2007.
“This trip isn’t a bonus or a reward for the coaches, because Ambassador Danding (Cojuangco) had this in mind even before the Archers swept the second round and strung up nine wins in a row,” the insider said, as quoted by Henson.
“He asked (Spurs assistant coach) Chip (Engelland) to show the ropes to the coaches and expose them to how a first-class organization in the NBA works.”