Coach Tab hurting as Adrian Wong leaves Ateneo earlier than expected

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Nov 21, 2019 02:08 PM
Coach Tab hurting as Wong leaves earlier than expected
(Photo by Arvin Lim)

Adrian Wong’s career in Ateneo de Manila University has come to a close.

Unlike fellow three-time champions Isaac Go, Thirdy Ravena, and Nieto twins Mike and Matt, however, Wong could actually come back and try for a four-peat.

That is if he wanted to play out his fifth and final year as a Blue Eagle.

Only, the 6-foot guard has decided to throw his name into the hat of the 2019 PBA Draft.

That wasn’t necessarily a welcome development at all for Ateneo head coach Tab Baldwin.

“I really didn’t think that I was gonna lose him. I thought he was gonna stay for another year,” the multi-titled mentor said. “I haven’t told him this, but it hurt when he told me he was leaving.”

Last month, Wong formally filed his application to be part of the rookie selection process.

That meant that he was foregoing his last year of eligibility - and that meant that the Blue Eagles unexpectedly would now have to replace their most experienced two-guard.

Make no mistake, though, Coach Tab would always have Wong’s back. “I told him, ‘I love you. God bless you. Go and I’ll support you no matter what you do,’” he said.

Still, the fact remains that, if he had it his way, the American-Kiwi tactician would keep the end-to-end player as a key cog. As he put it, “I hate losing him. I hate losing any player I could have another go with.”

He then continued, “Why do I hate losing him? Two-way players aren’t around everyday. He’s a force at the defensive end and he’s such a reliable offensive player when it comes to shooting.”

Indeed, Wong was more often than not tasked to defend the opponent’s best perimeter weapon.

This, all while shooting 36 percent from three.

And that is exactly why wherever he goes, he would shine bright. “He’s a star in the making, this guy. Trust me, he’s a star in the making,” Coach Tab said.


Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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