PVL: How tough love and Kutsinta created special bond among Bundit, Valdez and Morado

Mark Escarlote on Dec 08, 2018 09:58 PM
Tough love, Kutsinta created bond among Tai, Alyssa and Jia
Thai coach Tai Bundit made his mark on Alyssa Valdez and Jia Morado with his 'kutsinta' peace offerings and tough love.

BATANGAS CITY –- Tough love and shared success were the things that created a special bond among a Thai coach who barely spoke English, a talented spiker and a heady playmaker.

A hard-earned UAAP title brought them to the volleyball limelight five years ago.

On Saturday, in front of a huge adoring crowd inside the Batangas City Coliseum here Saturday night, Creamline head coach Tai Bundit, ace hitter Alyssa Valdez and setter Jia Morado parted ways after capturing the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Open Conference championship. 

It was a bitter-sweet moment for the three who shared an incredible journey that captured the hearts of Filipino volleyball fans.

From a simple meeting back in September 2013, to the countless hours of Spartan-like training, the triumphs, trials and tribulations to their final farewell inside the volleyball court, the three made colorful memories together. They shared the bond of family.

Recalling their fondest memory with the amiable coach, Valdez said that the Bundit made his biggest mark on her with just the smallest of things: a pack of Kutsinta.  

“Isa lang talaga ang mamimiss ko sa kanya, whenever we fight talaga, kailangan ko nang sabihin ‘to kasi everyone deserves to know na ganitong klaseng tao siya talaga. Everytime we fight kasi noong college kasi syempre may language barrier so lagi kaming nag-aaway talaga ni Coach Tai, in a good way (kasi) baka akala ng mga tao nang-aaway ako, every time I go out of the dorm, every single day, lagi akong may kutsinta (galing) sa kanya,” Valdez, the PVL Open Conference MVP admitted.

“Before going to class lagi akong may pagkain na iniiwan niya sa dorm parang peace offering niya, para hindi daw ako mapagod, may energy daw ako, so I think isa ‘yun sa mga hindi ko makakalimutan sa kanya,” she continued. “Ganoon siyang klaseng tao, very thoughtful and hindi ko talaga ma-imagine ang paglalaro ng volleyball without him kasi siya sa mga naging coach ko na really trusted me, really put me inside the court kahit anong mangyari and iba ang tiwalang binibigay niya sa aming mga players.”

For Morado she was just grateful for having Bundit push her beyond her limit to become arguably the best volleyball playmaker in the country. 

“‘Yung pinaka-tumatak sa akin kay Coach Tai is how high of a standard he has for me,” said Morado, who won her third Best Setter award in the PVL and earned the Finals Most Valuable Player after the Cool Smashers completed a sweep of Ateneo-Motolite, 25-20, 25-20, 25-15.  

“Kahit feeling ko I’m playing at my best na, as in, peak ko na talaga, there is always something na gusto niya i-improve sa akin na sobrang nacha-challenge ako sa kanya parati kasi it’s always so hard for me to get praises from Coach Tai,” she added. “That’s something na nadadaanan ng lahat ng players niya, sobrang taas ng standards niya.”

Six days from now, Bundit will formally end half a decade of colorful volleyball coaching in the Philippines with a packed bag and a plane ticket – the same way he started it.

He will leave a legacy of ‘happy, happy’ and a heart strong mantra.

Morado and Valdez will need to move on with their own careers. But they won’t miss Coach Tai.

They have a good reason to say so.

“Hindi namin siya mami-miss,” said Valdez. “Pupunta kami ng Thailand.”

 

 

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles

 

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