Disheartened Cantonjos leaving UST after seven years as coach

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Feb 20, 2018 08:25 PM
Disheartened Cantonjos leaving UST after 7 years as coach
Chris Cantonjos is leaving UST on his own terms

With all the questions hanging over University of Sto. Tomas’ basketball program, Chris Cantonjos has already forwarded the answer most important for him.

“This is my last year na. Kahit i-renew ako, ayoko na rin naman so ito na rin yung last year na magko-coach ako sa UST,” he told reporters on Tuesday after his Tiger Cubs ended their campaign in the UAAP 80 Juniors Basketball Tournament with a loss in the semifinals.

With that, Cantonjos himself put an end to speculations about his future with UST High.

Earlier in the year, reports surfaced that Aldin Ayo is set to have complete control over UST’s Men’s and Juniors basketball programs.

This meant that Ayo will have a say in the Tiger Cubs – whatever happens in the campaign Cantonjos was overseeing.

This also meant that Cantonjos’ seven-season stint – five in the Women’s and two in the Juniors – in Espana was uncertain of continuing. It didn’t help matters that Ayo’s camp opted to keep mum about the matter.

Now, it’s Cantonjos himself who is making his status certain.

While he is yet to set the date when he will hand in his resignation letter, Cantonjos said that his decision is already final. “Pagagandahin ko muna yung isusulat ko sa resignation, pero final na yun. Kahit i-acquire nila ako ulit, hindi na,” he said.

He then continued, “Nawala yung puso ko – hindi sa school ha. Linawin ko lang, worth fighting for ang UST kasi nung naglalaro ako, talagang nakikipagpatayan ako para sa UST.”

Cantonjos then went on to say that he became disheartened after how, in his eyes, the school’s support for him and his wards wavered as the season went on. “Sabi ko nga, yung support, naisantabi kami. I think I have the right to say something naman kasi hindi balanced yung nangyari,” he said.

Ever since the news broke about UST’s basketball program, Cantonjos said that he and Ayo are yet to get together to talk things over.

Even then, however, he said he wished the Growling Tigers’ new mentor would just approach him. “Apat yung binigay kong championship tsaka may MVP ako (sa UST). Magpasintabi muna siya kasi sinasagasaan niya is UST. Respeto naman. Wag naman ganun,” he said then.

Still, Cantonjos was thankful for his alma mater for giving him a chance to prove his coaching chops. “Thank you sa opportunity na binigay sa akin ng UST. Ito ang pinakamagandang experience na nangyari sa akin,” he said.

He then continued, “Gusto ko lang namang makapag-serve mung anong pinakamagandang way na makapag-serve. Sana, nagawa ko naman yun.”

Now, Cantonjos said he welcomes with open arms this break away from basketball. As he put it, “It’s about time naman na siguro, sa wife and daughter ko muna ako. For seven years, laging nagagalit sa akin ang wife ko kasi kahit may sakit siya, inuuna ko yung UST.”

He then continued, “Ganun ko kamahal ang UST, kung alam niyo lang. Hindi lang nila nakita kung paano ko minahal ang UST.”

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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