Emotional Vanguardia dedicates big win to his late mentor

Paul Lintag on Dec 28, 2016 08:41 PM
Emotional Vanguardia dedicates big win to his late mentor
This time, Vanguardia's tears have more meaning as his team's victory over Globalport, made possible after a 26-point comeback in the fourth quarter, was dedicated to the late Adriano "Bong" Go who served as his mentor in the coaching business.

For the second straight game, Phoenix head coach Ariel Vanguardia turned emotional following a big win.

This time, Vanguardia's tears have more meaning as his team's victory over Globalport, made possible after a 26-point comeback in the fourth quarter, was dedicated to the late Adriano "Bong" Go who served as his mentor in the coaching business.

Go has been around the coaching ranks for a long time, having stints with college teams like College of St. Benilde, Ateneo, and Perpetual.

Go also handled teams in the now defunct Metropolitan Basketball Association and the Philippine Basketball League as well as numerous jobs as assistant coach for a number of PBA squads.

Last Monday, Go passed away at age 66 after suffering a stroke.

"It's been an emotional week, I lost my mentor, coach Bong Go," Vanguardia said. "I started my coaching [career] with him that's why I dedicated the game to him."

According to Vanguardia, it was Go that gave him a chance as a walk-in assistant coach with the Blazers back in 1998.

"I was a walk-on, I didn't play UAAP ball, didn't play PBL, but he took a chance on me as a walk-on assistant coach with no knowledge. Even no barangay [level] coaching, I just went there and I learned a lot from him," Vanguardia said.

Since his first stint under Go, the current Phoenix mentor has had quite the career of his own with his most famous accomplishment was leading the Westports Malaysia Dragons to the ABL title just last season.

Vanguardia revealed that he would have brought his mentor to Kuala Lumpur but Go suffered his first stroke four years ago.

Still both student and mentor stayed in touch with the latter still offering advice to his former apprentice every now and then.

"He's just a selfless person. He's really like a father figure to me and I dedicate this win to him," Vanguardia said fighting off tears.


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