Shirtless coach Atoy proves to be wake up call Mapua needs
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Aug 01, 2015 02:22 AM
IT'S GETTING HOT IN HERE. Coach Atoy Co let himself get ejected to make a statement to his Mapua Cardinals.
Things were getting ugly for Mapua Institute of Technology who were helplessly watching what was once a 40-point advantage for them shrink into a single-digit lead inside the last two minutes.
Their margin was threatened even further when a foul sent Lyceum of the Philippines University's Jean Nguidjol to the line. Not happy with the call, Cardinals mentor Atoy Co vented out on a game official who promptly whistled him a technical foul for continuous complaining.
Unfazed by the “T,” Co faced the Mapua crowd, took off his collared shirt, and then waved it around. After some odd seconds, Co sat down and put his shirt back on, but was assessed another technical foul, this time for unsportsmanlike conduct, and was ejected from the game.
Explaining his actions, the PBA 40 Greatest member said, “I'm very sorry that I did something stupid just to make a statement. Sa tagal kong paglalaro ng basketball at naturingan pang legend, may panahong kelangan mong gumawa ng statement.”
He continued, “Alam kong mate-technical ako pero yun ay para magising yung players ko.”
Co’s statement was heard loud and clear by his wards and the Cardinals successfully held on for the victory. After Lyceum trimmed their deficit to just six points courtesy of the technical free throws, Mapua closed the game on a 4-0 finishing kick.
As such, team captain Josan Nimes believed their coach’s action did more good than harm. “He did that for us. He wanted to make a statement not for anybody else, but for our team. After that, we just needed to get back for what he did for us,” he told ABS-CBN Sports.
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