ROMEL Adducul has signed up again with Globalport - not as a player, but as the newest member of the Batang Pier's coaching staff.
The former MBA, PBL and NCAA Most Valuable Player was a can't-miss figure on the Globalport bench during its 91-88 win over the Alaska Aces on Friday night wearing the coaching staff's black and neon green uniform.
Globalport coach Junel Baculi admitted the longtime PBA star from Tuguegarao, Cagayan was reluctant to put an end to his playing career, but was prevailed upon to take on a new career path.
"Mabigat nga sa loob niya na tanggapin pero eventually, napaliwanagan namin siya," said Baculi, who bared how Adducul longed to keep playing at the end of his playing contract with the Batang Pier.
"Alam ko naman yun. A player always wants to be a player. Pero we told him: ’I think it’s time to move on...’ Tapos ayun, tinanggap niya rin ang bagong challenge niya sa career," added the Globalport coach.
The new career path should mark the end of a decorated career that saw the 37-year-old win championships and stand out as one of the most dominant big men in the NCAA, PBL, and MBA.
The former San Sebastian superstar was the consensus No.1 overall pick in the 1998 PBA draft until he decided to take a different path and instead took his act to the MBA by way of the Manila Metrostars.
He made the move to the PBA only in 2003.
"I told Romel, ’Hindi ka pinalad sa PBA in terms of individual awards. Baka nasa pagiging coach ang calling mo. Bakit di mo subukan?’ Iyon ang sinabi ko," Baculi recalled.
In his first attempt at coaching, Adducul was tasked to mentor the big men of Globalport.
"Effective si Romel maging coach. Nakikita ko maganda ang mga nashi-share niya sa mga bigs namin," said two-time league MVP Willie Miller, once Adducul's rival for individual honors in the MBA.
"Happy ako makita siya sa bago niyang career. Sana mag-succeed si coach Romel."
Globalport big man Brian Faundo said Adducul has the makings of a good mentor.
"Maayos, pwede siya mag-coach. Effective `yung mga tinuturo niya. Pati posting up," said Faundo, pointing to the hook shot he added to his offensive repertoire because of his new coach.
Baculi has high hopes for his new understudy.
“Sana mag-succeed siya. I will be proud of him one day. He can even coach this team one day to the championship, who knows?" said the Globalport mentor.