Mapua moving on from head coach Atoy Co

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Nov 09, 2018 06:18 PM
Mapua moving on from head coach Atoy Co
Atoy Co leaves the Mapua bench with two Final Four appearances under his belt

The second longest tenured coach in the NCAA is no more as Mapua University will be moving on from head coach Atoy Co.

Coach Atoy himself confirmed the development. “Sa tingin ko, wala nang renewal ng contract,” he said.

He furthered, “Actually, nag-expire yung contract ko October 31, pero bago pa nun, nagbigay na ako ng courtesy resignation.”

After the Cardinals ended Season 94 with a 6-12 record, the affable mentor revealed that his return next season is yet to be determined. “(My contract) is expiring this November. I really don’t know yet,” he answered when asked about his status last October.

Now, apparently, coach Atoy’s return to his alma mater may very well be at a new post – as a consultant for the basketball program. “They are considering na consultant ako. Yun na lang,” he said.

He leaves the bench of the Intramuros-based squad with an overall 40-72 record. Before his exit, he had been the league’s second longest tenured coach – after Jose Rizal University’s Vergel Meneses.

His best seasons came in 2015 and 2016 when they rode back-to-back MVP Allwell Oraeme to back-to-back semifinals finishes.

After the Nigerian left, all of a sudden, though, the PBA legend turned coach was forced to go into another rebuild. “Naramdaman ko rin kasing ‘di natuloy yung gusto ko sa program lalo na pag-alis ni Allwell. Siyempre kasi, kailangan mo ng malaki para makalaban,” he said.

This season, despite missing the playoffs once more, Mapua seemed to have the proper building blocks in the likes of Warren Bonifacio, Eric Jabel, and Laurenz Victoria.

However, coach Atoy will no longer be overseeing the rebuild.

In his place, he said he has recommended Randy Alcantara, his assistant and the shot-caller for Mapua’s high school team. “Bibigyan na si coach Randy ng pagkakataon to handle the Mapua Cardinals,” he said.

Nothing is final just yet, however, as coach Randy said that possibility is far from his mind because the Red Robins remain alive and kicking for the Juniors championship.

ABS-CBN Sports has tried to contact Mapua’s team management, but has not gotten a response as of press time.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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