ONCE a coach, always a coach.
Petron team consultant John Todd Purves admitted there were instances during the Boosters’ intense PBA Governors Cup game against Barangay Ginebra that he felt the itch of holding the white board and mapping out a play for the team.
“Yes I am (feel the itch to design plays during the game), but that’s all right. That’s part of the process,” the 41-year-old American told Spin.ph while letting out a big laugh on Sunday night.
But that doesn’t mean the Memphis Grizzlies scout is out to take the job away from coach Gee Abanilla. The former coach of the Indonesia Warriors in the Asean Basketball League said he’s just happy being at the sidelines and providing insights to the Boosters’ coaching staff.
“I am happy being here for coach Gee and I appreciate the warm welcome they are giving me,” he said after watching Petron eke out a thrilling come-from-behind 101-95 win over Ginebra.
“Anyway I can help out in any capacity. I am more than willing to do that for Petron Blaze,” added Purves, who’s truly amazed at how Filipinos love the game of basketball.
“Right now we will just gonna go with the way we are moving. I am just proud to be a part of the staff at this point.”
But asked if he sees himself coaching Petron one of these days, Purves gave a straightforward answer.
“Not at this point, we are just getting started. Gee is doing a wonderful job and we will just continue getting better at this point,” said the ever-smiling coach.
For the video of the full Spin.ph interview with Purves, click here.
As for the Boosters’ first win, Purves expressed satisfaction with how the team is slowly getting comfortable with its system.
“It feels good to get our first win, but the main goal is try to get better. And so we will be trying to get better for our next games,” he said.
“We will be playing our best games by the end of the season.”
Added the Petron consultant, “I am happy with how our guys played tonight, we’re just about a small percentage of what we want to be eventually in regard to our system.”
Purves stressed at the moment Petron is all about being on the same page, where everyone has the free chance to share insights to the team.
“Every one’s putting in their opinions and collectively, we’re trying to get on the same page, definitely moving towards the right decision,” he said.
The amiable attitude and the seeming free-wheeling system of Petron already got the thumbs up from no less than team captain and charismatic leader Danny Ildefonso, who expressed full support for Purves.
“Si coach Todd, okay siya. Very open siya tumanggap ng suggestion mula sa amin. Saka okay siya sa defense. Makakatulong siya sa amin,” Ildefonso shared to Spin.ph.
Asked if one day Purves will be the one holding the white board and mapping out plays, Ildefonso said he sees no problem with it.
“Okay lang. Wala kaming control regarding that. May respeto kami sa kanya, at ang mahalaga marunong siyang rumespeto sa iba, sa mga nakakataas sa kanya,” said the two-time league MVP.
“Saka nakakatuwa kasi alam niya limitasyon niya at alam niya kung ano lang ang trabaho niya,” added the veteran big man, who once vocally opposed a similar coaching set-up within Petron not a long time ago that had Serbian Rajko Toroman playing the role of consultant to head coach Olsen Racela.