Mapua’s Co: ‘Hindi pala lahat sing-talino ni Adornado, Cezar’
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on May 28, 2015 06:46 PM
YOU ALREADY KNOW ATOY CO. Even after back-to-back losing seasons, Atoy Co is still raring to bring Mapua back into the limelight.
After winning in every stop of his playing career, Philippine basketball legend Atoy Co is off to a rocky start in his coaching career with alma mater Mapua.
Under the tutelage of their multi-titled mentor, the Cardinals have endured back-to-back bottom finishes and have amassed a 6-30 win-loss record through two seasons.
With the situation looking bleak, and only the return of former Rookie of the Year Josan Nimes seemingly serving as a ray of hope, the 63-year-old admitted that there have been times when he already wanted to call it quits. “I’m definitely disappointed. Actually, minsan parang gusto ko na ring umayaw,” he told ABS-CBN Sports.
According to Co, there are a lot of factors that come to play in college basketball that he did not need to worry about when he was orchestrating the attack for the Crispa Redmanizers. “College basketball is all about recruitment and before you can recruit good players, you need financial (support),” he said.
Aside from the fact that young players now want to play for the “more popular” UAAP instead of the older NCAA, Co also lamented that recruiting wars begin and end up against moneyed patrons such as Manny V. Pangilinan for Ateneo, Danding Cojuangco for De La Salle University, and the Sy family for National University.
Mapua’s remedy is to gamble on players that flash potential and simply trust their development program. More than the talent, however, the Mapua mentor also shared that a player’s mentality is the most important, yet also most difficult to scout.
Co shared with ABS-CBN Sports, “Ang talagang problema, at ito ang katotohanan, akala ko kapag may magandang sistema ka, madali na lahat.”
“Ngayon ko lang na-realize na hindi lahat ng player kasing talino ni Bogs Adornado, ni Philip Cezar,” he continued, talking about his old teammates and fellow legends who, along with him, turned Crispa into a gritty and determined winning machine.
Nonetheless, anyone would be a fool to think that Co is letting losing get the better of him. “Kapag sumurrender ako, parang sinabing hindi ko alam yung basketball,” he assuredly said.
He added, “Para sa akin, alam ko yung basketball. Maski yung sinasabing bagong scientific na basketball, it’s still basketball.”
The Mapua confidently stated that even after two losing seasons, the indomitable will to win still burns within him. “Kami nung araw, ayaw mong pumayag na matalo. Yun din ang shine-share ko sa mga player ko ngayon,” he said.
So far in the preseason, Co thinks that the third version of his Cardinals seem to be already imbibing his spirit. “Nakikita nilang there’s potential, kahit papano, lumalaban kami,” he said.
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