THIS could be the payback Caloy Garcia is waiting for a long, long time now.
The young mentor admitted assuming the head-coaching job of the Letran Knights gives him the chance to redeem himself in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament following a forgettable stint with the St. Benilde Blazers in mid-2000.
“Gusto kong bumawi dun sa record ko before sa NCAA,” bared Garcia to Spin.ph.
Garcia replaced Tonichi Yturri as St. Benilde coach in a disastrous campaign that saw him fail to register a winning record in three seasons with the team.
Overall, Garcia’s stint with the Blazers read 9-31 (win-loss) record, including 1-11 in his last year before Gee Abanilla took over the team.
“Talagang `yun ang misyon ko, and sana magawa ko yun,” said Garcia, who is upbeat about his new job at Letran, which he credits as being very active and passionate when it comes to recruiting talent.
A lot of things had happened to Garcia’s coaching career since that St. Benilde misadventure.
He became a full-time coach in the PBA through the Rain or Shine franchise, before he was relegated as head deputy when Yeng Guiao took over the helm two years ago.
Garcia, who already won a championship as coach with Welcoat during the 2005 PBL Finals, said he doesn’t mind management’s decision to relegate him as assistant to Guiao, whom he respects so much.
The former St. Benilde player said he learned a lot from Guiao in just two years of partnership that already produced two Finals appearances and a first-ever PBA championship for Rain or Shine.
“Marami akong natutunan kay coach Yeng (Guaio) kaya kung ako ang tatanungin hangga’t gusto niya ako sa tabi niya, dun ako,” said Garcia, who also played football for Letran in high school.
“And I feel marami pa akong matututunan sa aming magiging samahan sa bench ng Rain or Shine.”
Being associated with Guiao appeared to have finally bore fruit for Garcia.
Just days after signing a two-year deal as replacement of Louie Alas at Letran, Garcia also got the head-coaching job at Erase Plantcenta in the PBA D-League, easily making him the most sought mentor in the amateurs today.