Not only has the NCAA staged one of the most exciting seasons in recent history, it also has quite an interesting coaches’ portfolio in its fold, Alas, Abanilla, Isaac, to name a few. Two news articles about NCAA basketball coaches caught my attention this week.
First was the resignation of Jorge Gallent, coach of the San Sebastian Golden Stags. Inquirer.net reported yesterday that Gallent has given up his NCAA coaching post, citing his commitment with Harbour Centre as his main reason of leaving. The news item explained further that the school and Gallent were at odds with the recruitment program, thus prompting Gallent to vacate his post. The source reveals that San Sebastian has yet to find a replacement for Gallent. It would be interesting to find out who that is, since the Stags will be in a major rebuilding mode next season, as main men Jason Ballesteros and Jim Bruce Viray used up their last year of eligibility in Season 84. It may have been heartbreaking for the multi-titled PBL coach to miss the Final Four Bus in a chain of play-off/knock-out games, after an eight game winning streak and an erstwhile taste of the lead in the recently concluded season. Personally, I feel sad about Gallent’s departure. I commend how he has transformed this team in the two seasons he was on board. San Sebastian was indeed a force to reckon with this season, and gave us Bedan fans quite a scare!
Second news item that literally made my eyes roll in disbelief is this:
“If boxing has Pacquiao, college basketball has JRU
posted in abs-cbnNEWS.com | 10/10/2008 1:11 AM
“The fire from 1972 championship was not rekindled in the present-day Jose Rizal U Heavy Bombers but definitely, their NCAA Season 84 championship series with the San Beda Red Lions provided a much-needed boost for the Shaw-based squad’s image.
And if the Philippines has an idol in Manny Pacquiao, the three-game series with the Lions transformed the Bombers in a league of their own: college basketball’s own “people’s champ.”
“The common person could relate to JRU,” Bombers coach Ariel Vanguardia told JP Abcede of collegiate Website Ubelt.com.
He added that following the series that was stretched to Game Three, people came and told them about how they cheered for the team. And yes, even those from the bigger college league, UAAP’s La Salle and Ateneo, said they were cheering for the Bombers who lost the series to the Lions, 2-1.
“People we meet in public who recognize us told us that they were cheering for us,” Vanguardia said, adding that, “even the Lasallians and Ateneans I talked to were cheering for JRU.”
He said that people applauded JRU’s players in putting up a “never-say-die” attitude in Game Two, especially.
“Ang daming nag-congratulate sa amin na players and coaches for a good fight,” Vanguardia said as he showed up with John Wilson during the first game of the 34th PBA season over the weekend.
“Sabi ni Wilson, dami palang nakakakilala.”
Honestly, I am happy for the players of JRU that slowly, people in and outside of the NCAA are beginning to notice them. They are quite impressive players. The likes of Sena, Cagoco, Hayes, Wilson and Nocom are prolific basketeers and stand a chance for lucrative careers in the future. I think the recognition they are now getting is due them.
However, their coach, Ariel Vanguardia is really getting to my nerves. He has all these phony press releases, bragging to the whole world the achievements he has done for this team. Ahh, Ariel, didn’t you forget? You actually did NOT WIN the championship?!
And when he won Game 2 of the series, he began to dig deep into his “rosy”relationship with Frankie Lim, even dedicating his victory to Joel Banal, who was “booted out” of the Talk n Text team with him not so long ago. How is this befitting of a head coach and sportsman like you? You just talk too much, really! Now, people wonder why Lim, to this day, refuses to meet this man on center court for a handshake?? I dont really blame Coach Frankie.
Now equating your team to the revered Filipino boxing champ Manny Pacquiao, is a little bit overboard… How about some modesty, Mister Vanguardia and a little step back on the analogy, please? Maybe after you realize that those dirty antics that you philosophize into your system with JRU are not as effective as relying on your players’ exemplary physical abilities and basketball know-how, we can start talking about Manny Pacquiao. I could really do away with the “kanto-boy” type of defense that you have proudly employed the past seasons. You have admitted to adopting the Letran-brand of basketball. Gutsy, rough, rugged. But at this point, you have actually overdone it.
A teensy-weensy request? A little less talk and a little more action…
The only good thing that comes out of this, is that, the media is beginning to notice the animated personalities in and around the NCAA. Good or bad? Publicity is still publicity. Definitely, these are signs of good things to come for the league.