Eric Altamirano pleased son and former assistant Anton is forging his own coaching career path
Anton Altamirano is now working under Jerry Codinera after a stint as assistant under his father Eric. Dante Peralta

ERIC Altamirano is happy that his son Anton is starting to work on his coaching career under a different mentor, confident the young coach will soon carve his own niche.

The elder Altamirano said there had been no plan to have his son follow in his footsteps, but now he is convinced Anton is ready to take it a step further.

After a stint as assistant under his father at National University, Anton is learning the ropes under a new mentor in Jerry Codinera at Racal in the D-League and Arellano University in the NCAA.

"I encourage him to find his own identity," said Eric. "I did not encourage him to go into coaching."

"You know the intricacies of coaching. It's not a permanent thing and you are as good as your last game. But he really wanted to pursue coaching so I encourage him to find his own identity as a coach," said Eric.

Mother Marissa supports Anton’s decision to enter coaching, even if it meant father and son would eventually battle each other.

"Like any mother, I will always be proud of my children's achievement. I feel that because he was always exposed to our world of sports, it stuck to him," said Marissa, a former varsity volleyball player of University of the Philippines.

"A Biblical verse always reminds me, 'Train a child where you want him to go and he will not depart from it. Eric and I have always respected their dreams. We never dictated on what they wanted even in their field of sports.

"Growing up, we intentionally made him choose other sports like football, swimming, and taekwondo, but eventually, because of his close knit relationship with his dad he eventually chose to follow his footsteps," Marissa said.

"If I were given a choice, I will not make him follow his dad's footsteps because I witnessed all the success and painful experiences in his chosen profession. But then no one can ever comprehend or go against God's plan," said Marissa.

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

"I always pray that aside from maturity and skills, he inherits his father's character and integrity," she said.

Flying V head coach Eric is again facing Anton, an assistant coach for Racal Motors, on July 3 in the developmental league. It will be their second encounter after Arellano battled the Thunder to a draw in a tuneup match.

"Sabi ko mag-absent na lang siya kapag nagharap kami sa D-League," said Coach E in jest, adding that he never actually gave the father-and-son matchup much thought when the Thunder faced the Chiefs.

"Hindi ko na naisip 'yun. Playing Arellano was a good tuneup game for us kasi Arellano is a team to be reckoned with," said Eric.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @reubensports