RAJKO Toroman’s sudden departure as consultant of the San Miguel organization came as a surprise to some players of Petron, who respects the Serb as a disciplinarian with a soft spot in his heart for players.
Rookie June Mar Fajardo and veteran Denok Miranda admitted being left in the dark on the decision of the 57-year-old Toroman to seek his release from San Miguel management and explore other possible coaching opportunities.
At the moment, the Serbian is in negotiations with the Barako Bulls franchise still on the lookout for a permanent coach following the exit of Junel Baculi two months ago.
“Ngayon ko lang nalaman yan,” said Fajardo, when informed by Spin.ph that Toroman is no longer connected with Petron.
The 6-foot-9 Fajardo admitted in the short period of time he was under the former Olympic basketball coach of Iran, he learned to embrace the importance of discipline in his desire to excel in his young PBA career.
“Napaka-strict niyang coach. Seryoso siya sa practice. Pero ganun siya kasi gusto niyang matuto kami. Maganda din naman yung ganun kasi may mga players talaga sa PBA na pagdating nila (sa PBA), okay na lang sila sa ganun,” Fajardo said.
The towering native of Pinamungahan, Cebu also credited the former Smart Gilas head coach for the post moves he has in his arsenal.
“Sa practice kasi namin, may mga big man’s drills, kaya dun niya kami tinuturuan ng mga galaw ng big man na ngayon, nagagamit ko na,” said the 23-year-old former University of Cebu star.
For his part, Miranda said Toroman may have had a reputation for being a strict drillmaster on the court, but the Serbian is really “kind” off the court.
“Mabait naman na coach si coach Rajko. Ganun lang talaga ang way of coaching niya. Strict siya. Sobrang higpit sa ensayo, pero personally, marami akong natutunan sa kanya lalo na sa mga drills na ginagawa namin sa practice,” said the former FEU Tamaraw point guard.