ARMED WITH a veteran coach plus a very avid basketball fan of a school president, the De Ocampo Memorial College Cobras are hoping to take a big and deep bite as they make a return to big time collegiate basketball by joining the National Athletic Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities (NAASCU). The Cobras are part of the league’s massive expansion this season that has brought in four other varsities for a record 13-team field.
The tandem of Coach Ronnie Dojillo and Dr. Vicente Antonio A. de Ocampo is making sure that their debut season will be one worth remembering. With their tallest player standing only 6’2”, the Cobras are easily among the smallest teams but they vow to make up with their speed, shooting and non-stop pressing defense.
Leading the team will be prolific guard Dahrrel Caranguian and forward Nino Macasling. The duo saw action last year in the inaugural Pilipinas Commercial Basketball League (PCBL) tournament for the Cagayan Rising Suns under Coach Dojillo.
Also seen to play a key leadership role is shooter Igi Boy Sabasaje while the frontline will be anchored on Redel Fabro and new recruit Jhonard Clarito. Assisting Coach Dojillo is former PABL player Jake Codamon and Richard Ramsey.
At the last minute, DOMC decided to field an entry in the Juniors Division for players aged 19 years and under. The Junior Cobras are mostly from their High School Department and will be handled by Coach Ramsey.
Meanwhile, Coach Dojillo said that the school is beginning preparations for the establishment of varsity teams that could compete in the second semester, particularly in volleyball. They are also looking at competing in as many sports as possible.
It has been ages since DOMC paraded guard Jesse Cabanayan, a 5’7” guard who had a brief professional career with Purefoods. For sure, joining a prestigious tournament like the NAASCU is a step in finding the next Cabanayan.
The Cobras will be in the company of fellow newcomers Manuel L, Quezon University, Philippine Merchant Marine School, Colegio de San Lorenzo and Enderun Colleges as the 16th NAASCU opens its doors on August 25 at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City. They will all try to dislodge regular members Saint Clare College of Caloocan, Our Lady of Fatima University, Philippine Christian University, New Era University, AMA University, Lyceum of Subic Bay, City University of Pasay and Rizal Technological University.