KERBY Raymundo is glad to see quick results after taking the job as consultant for Letran’s basketball program, and he is very thankful to the NBTC for providing the platform for young players from his province of Bataan to showcase their talent.
The opportunity came shortly after Raymundo was hired last year to help the school’s basketball program as NBTC staged a regional event in Balanga, giving the Letran-Bataan team a chance to play for a seat in the national finals against the top high school teams in the country.
Letran-Bataan won the regionals, and as of Wednesday has reached the Final Four of the Division 2 in the national tournament, beating Assumption College Davao, 78-73.
“If there is one thing that I’m so proud of, ’yung pride at tapang. Kahit maliliit, nakikita mo lumalaban. Kahit papaano, nananalo. We are born winners so we are going to do our best any game,” said Raymundo.
“Nagpapasalamat kami kay coach Eric (Altamirano), coach Alex (Compton), at kay Tita Marissa (Altamirano) for extending the NBTC sa Balanga, Bataan. Nagkaroon ng opportunity na makapaglaro at umabot dito sa nationals,” the 37-year-old Raymundo said.
The former PBA player said it has so far been a great experience helping Letran’s Manila and Bataan teams.
“From consultant last year, dinamay na rin ni (Letran athletics moderator) Fr. Vic (Calvo) na tumulong na rin ako sa Bataan,” said Raymundo, from Orion, Bataan.
“Kapag head coach, full-time ka. Dito more on guidance na lang ang ginagawa, mas pabor sa akin. May mga pinagkakaabalahan din tayo aside from basketball. Pero very fruitful siya,” said Raymundo.
“Siyempre, sayang naman ‘yung natutunan natin kung hindi natin ipasa sa kanila.”
Raymundo is no stranger to helping out young basketball players in Bataan, having worked with coach Molet Pineda in forming teams that compete in tournaments in Metro Manila against top high school teams.
“Hopefully, when we play against them, they see a potential in our players. If they want the players, ibibigay namin sa kanila,” said Raymundo.
Now instead of just bringing the players to Manila to enter different events, Raymundo is able to help the players with their education.
“Dahil magastos, ginawa ko kay player, dun na lang kayo sa school sa Letran, dun na tayo magsama-sama. That’s what we did kaya kahit papaano, solid na,” said Raymundo.
Raymundo also said Pineda, a former PBA player, is a good fit as head coach.
“Sobrang pasalamat ko diyan,” said Raymundo of Pineda. “Kahit hindi ganun kalaki ang sweldo, pero ’yung passion niya to coach and to teach. He is a teacher. Talagang kahit every mistake, kahit lamang ng 20, sumisigaw pa rin. We are trying to build a good foundation sa mga bata.”