Tupaz quits as Lady Eagles assistant; Coach Tai to follow?
Mark Escarlote on Jan 06, 2017 05:00 PM
Assistant coach Parley Tupaz (right) parted ways with Ateneo a month before the start of UAAP Season 79.
Long-time Ateneo de Manila University assistant coach Parley Tupaz has called it quits with the former two-time UAAP champion Lady Eagles.
Head mentor Tai Bundit won’t have his main lieutenant by his side when Ateneo shoots to reclaim the title the blue and white lost last year when Season 79 opens on February 4.
“Wala na ako sa Ateneo. Nagpaalam na ako bago pa sila pumunta sa Thailand at Japan para mag-ensayo,” said Tupaz, who came to the Katipunan-based squad in 2011 under head coach Roger Gorayeb. “Okay na din kasi medyo Matagal-tagal na din naman ako. Subukan ko naman na may iba namang gawin.”
Tupaz remained with the team after Gorayeb stepped down from his post in 2013 after serving for five years and helped his replacement Bundit turn Ateneo into a powerhouse squad with superstar Alyssa Valdez, setter Jia Morado and top libero Denden Lazaro leading the way.
With Bundit and Tupaz taking the wheel, the Lady Eagles captured their breakthrough crown in Season 76 before making history with a clean sweep of Season 77.
However, Ateneo failed in its bid of a three-peat in Season 78, bowing down to archrival De La Salle University in the Finals series that went the full distance.
Tupaz, a former national team member who last saw action in the 2007 Nakhon Ratchasima Southeast Asian Games, also bared that this season could also be Bundit’s final dance with Ateneo.
“Baka nga last year na n’ya ito. Hindi natin masabi talaga eh. Basta ako, out na ako sa Ateneo,” said Tupaz, who during the off-season worked as an assistant coach for Pocari Sweat in the V-League Open Conference before transferring to BaliPure as assistant of Bundit in the Reinforced Conference.
The development could be a part of a domino-effect of the reported sacking of team manager Tony Boy Liao, who helped turn Ateneo's volleyball program around when he assumed the position more than a decade ago.
Liao brought Gorayeb, Tupaz and Bundit as well as assistant coach Sherwin Meneses to Ateneo and was instrumental with major recruitment coups including the transfer of Valdez, who played for University of Sto. Tomas high school.
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