RELIEF was the biggest feeling Bonnie Tan had as he was glad to finally get the monkey off of his back.
The new Letran coach got his first victory in this new endeavor as the Knights took the 81-72 win over Arellano on Friday in the NCAA Season 95 seniors basketball tournament.
"Yung first win talaga yung pinakamahirap," he shared. "Excited tayo from the start, pero pag natalo ka sa first game mo, nakaka-pressure na. It's not only me na na-pressure but also the players and the whole staff."
Coming off that tough 84-80 loss to Lyceum back in opening day, Tan and the Knights knew something had to be done to live up to everyone's expectations -- especially for him who has been away of the NCAA sidelines for almost five years.
"Gusto mo yung comeback mo, successful dahil nagtiwala ang Letran community sa iyo. So gusto mo i-pay back yun at fortunately, na-pull through natin yung panalo sa second game," he said.
Tan had spent 11 years in Lyceum before parting ways with the school in 2014, and has since taken his act in a managerial role with NorthPort and M-League.
But after a half-decade, here he is back in the NCAA with Letran.
This time, though, it's different as he's handling a Knights crew with tremendous expectations vested on their shoulders.
"Yung lineup ko, we're blessed with big players. Not like before na ang pinakamalaki ko na is 6-2, si Andrei Mendoza lang," he said.
Tan admits that it's still a continuing process for him and this new team as they try to live up to the goals they set prior to the season.
This first win should help a lot to get things in order for Letran.
"We're still trying to learn on how to close out games," he said. "Sana itong win na ito, maibalik natin yung confidence natin na alam nating kaya nating manalo dito, not only sa elimination round pero sa succeeding rounds din."