JONG Uichico serves as consultant of the Meralco Bolts and works as part of the Gilas Pilipinas coaching staff, two teams very much identified with sportsman-businessman Manny V. Pangilinan.
Yet, that doesn’t stop him from supporting and watching the games of his former school De La Salle, whose major patron is no less than former Ambassador Eduardo `Danding’ Cojuangco, a known business rival of Pangilinan.
Uichico, who once played for La Salle and likewise coached the Green Archers, seated near the bench of the Green Archers in their match against the Letran Knights on Monday in the Filoil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup.
He actually sat right beside `The Boss’ and his brother, Tarlac congressman Henry Cojuangco, at ringside of The Arena in San Juan.
But the soft-spoken former national coach said people should not to put any color on his chance meeting with his former boss even though he’s now very much identified with the MVP Group of Companies.
Uichico stressed it’s a matter of just showing support to his school.
“Siyempre, it’s your school. I’m just seeing how the team is doing,” Uichico intimated to Spin.ph.
Uichico started out his career under the tutelage of Cojuangco, first playing for La Salle in college, and later with the fabled Northern Consolidated national team bankrolled by the former presidential aspirant.
He went on to have a successful career with teams under the SMC umbrella, first coaching San Miguel before taking on the mentoring job at Ginebra.
But as they say, some good things never last and last year Uichico finally parted ways with San Miguel after about three decades of association with the conglomerate.
To the surprise of many later on, Uichico found himself moving to the MVP Group of Companies, where he initially was tapped as consultant of the Meralco Bolts, before being made part of the Gilas Pilipinas coaching staff.
Uichico said he sees nothing wrong with him watching the games of the Archers. He himself related that MVP, a staunch backer of longtime La Salle rival Ateneo Blue Eagles, is aware that he’s cheering for the Green Archers.
“No connection naman ‘yun kung Meralco, Talk ‘N Text, or Boss MVP, Ateneo. In fact, during Ateneo-La Salle games, he (MVP) knows that I watch De La Salle. So it’s school naman,” said Uichico, who coached the Green Archers to a runner-up finish behind UST during the 1996 UAAP men’s basketball tournament.
As their former coach, Uichico had nothing but good things to say about this present-day Green Archers.
“I guess they improved. Okay naman mga recruits nila. Hopefully, La Salle does well this season,” he said.