A PAIR of Adamson legends head the short list of candidates for the Falcons' head-coaching job that is set to be vacated by Leo Austria at the end of the UAAP season.
Falcons manager Gilbert Cruz said Hector Calma and Kenneth Duremdes are among those being considered for the job if Austria decides not to renew his contract for next season.
Calma, the crafty starting point guard of the Northern Consolidated national team in the 80s, was a member of the Adamson team that won the school's lone UAAP men’s cage title in 1977.
Duremdes, currently one of Austria’s deputies at Adamson, was part of the last Falcons team that reached the Finals in 1992 along with giants Marlou Aquino, Edward Joseph Feihl, Giovanni Pineda, and Gerry Hipolito. They were swept in two games by the FEU Tamaraws bannered by the great Johnny Abarrientos
Cruz, however, clarified he is not closing the door on Austria returning to the team following his stunning announcement that he won’t be returning next season, stressing the school is only preparing for any eventuality.
(For full story on Austria's situation, see Austria says he won't return next year as Adamson head coach)
The Adamson manager also said the decision on the coaching position is not his to make but by the school’s sports committee.
“Personally, yes,” said Cruz, when asked if he is open to Austria returning during Tuesday’s Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum. “But again, the committee consists of 10 people.”
“But of course, as a manager, that’s my job to be sure that if he has decided (not to return). It’s just normal,” said Cruz.
Austria said he won’t return to the Adamson bench after seven seasons once his contract expires on October 31, due to criticisms he has been getting for the school’s lackluster season that saw them lose six straight games at one point.
Cruz admitted there were criticisms coming from some quarters.
“We can’t deny the fact that if the team is losing, some are asking for blood. But at the end of the day, it is Adamson’s sports executive group which will decide,” he stressed.
Cruz also said nothing has been decided on Austria’s future with the team.
“At this juncture, we have not decided on that. In fact, our method is after the season, that’s where we will evaluate and then the decision is to be made whether to keep him and extend his contract,” said Cruz.