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    Monteverde, Tan championships a triumph for Fil-Chinese basketball scene

    May 31, 2022
    Bonnie Tan Goldwin Monteverde
    The Fil-Chinese hoops community takes pride in Bonnie Tan and Goldwin Monteverde's exploits.

    GOLDWIN Monteverde and Bonnie Tan will forever be celebrated for bringing championships to University of the Philippines and Letran, respectively.

    But there's one more group outside of Diliman and Muralla celebrating these accomplishments: the Fil-Chinese basketball community.

    Fil-Chinese hoops community takes pride

    "Nakakaproud yung nagawa nila," said Bernard Yang, the former team manager of Hope Christian High School.

    Sunny Co, the head coach of Chiang Kai Shek College, agreed saying, "Pride pa rin ng Tiong Lian na nakapagbigay sila ng championship sa mga napuntahan nila."

    Monteverde and Tan trace their roots to this community, studying in Fil-Chinese schools and getting their starts there before moving on to bigger things.

    Monteverde studied in Uno High School before getting his first coaching break at St. Stephen's High School which led to his stints in St. Jude Catholic School and later on Chiang Kai Shek.

    Tan, meanwhile, is a product of Grace Christian College and briefly coached at St. Stephen's before returning to his alma mater.

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    The success of these mentors is a proof of how far the Fil-Chinese basketball community has evolved through the years, shattering glass ceilings to be considered in more marquee jobs in the hardcourt.

    "Para kasing pag Fil-Chinese ka, ang tingin sa yo kaya mo lang sa small leagues. Hindi kami makakuha ng break at hirap kami makakuha ng opportunities," said Yang.

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    Bonnie Tan Goldwin Monteverde

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    For the longest time, only one coach has been able to get over that hump: Alfrancis Chua.

    The mentor, who studied in Grace Christian College, made waves winning seven PBL crowns in his time in Stag and Tanduay before sustaining that level of success in the PBA where he now serves as the San Miguel Corporation sports director.

    But over the years, changes in the landscape have forced the Fil-Chinese basketball prime movers to evolve as some schools became more receptive in accepting non-Fil-Chinese recruits to raise the level of competition in Tiong Lian.

    "Nag-evolve din kami. Nakakasabay na rin yung mga players namin at hindi na lang dito sa ligang maliit. Hindi na lang kami naging conservative kundi naging malawak na rin tayo kasi kailangan mag-adapt tayo sa environment natin para na rin sa ikauunlad ng community," said Yang.

    Co also thinks that having that big chip on their shoulder have helped both Monteverde and Tan greatly in their respective ascents.

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    "Coach Bonnie and coach Goldwin both typify very hardworking coaches," he said. "Parehas silang hardworking and both of them have very good number of coaches under them. So they work together very well."

    Over the years, more products from the community have emerged, from Monteverde, Tan, Siot Tanquingcen, and the late Lawrence Chongson to the likes of Charles Tiu from Xavier and Jerson Cabiltes from Hope Christian.

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      And more are still waiting for their breaks.

      "Tingin ko yung Fil-Chinese coaches from the community has the talent for that higher level. Ang kulang lang talaga is yung exposure," said Co.

      Yang had the same thing in mind.

      "Ngayon, nung lumabas na sila Goldwin at Bonnie na naipakita nilang kaya na mag-champion, tingin ko pwede na talagang makipagsabayan," he said. "Yung exposure lang at yung tiwala. Dati kasi may question mark agad eh, na baka pang-small leagues lang. Pero ngayon hindi na. Ready na rin kami at pwede na rin kami makipagsabayan."

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      The Fil-Chinese hoops community takes pride in Bonnie Tan and Goldwin Monteverde's exploits.
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