AFTER a tumultuous weekend for National University's men's basketball team, Goldwin Monteverde remained in charge of the Bulldogs, sources closely monitoring the situation insisted.
Insiders bared the decorated mentor still supervised the squad's online workouts on Monday after a whirlwind weekend that saw the Bulldogs lose their top three high school recruits to rival UAAP schools.
On the day the school celebrated its 120th anniversary, it was announced that the Bulldogs had lost three foundational pieces - Carl Tamayo and Gerry Abadiano to the University of the Philippines and MVP race runner-up Kevin Quiambao to La Salle.
The moves caught Bulldogs management off-guard. What was even more stunning was talk that the trio had Monteverde's blessing to move on to greener pastures after their time together at NU-Nazareth School.
Tamayo, Quiambao, and Abadiano made up the core of a Bullpups side coached by Monteverde that denied Kai Sotto a championship in his farewell UAAP juniors season in 2018, and then completed a perfect 16-0 sweep of the last campaign.
Until things went haywire, the three were supposed to make the transition to NU's college team. Monteverde taking over from Jamike Jarin - who never got to lead the Bulldogs to the Final Four - was supposed to make that process a lot smoother.
Or so they thought.
Insiders bared the conflict started between Monteverde and the management team of the Bulldogs, which was different from the one the coach had to deal with in the juniors ranks, with whom he had a close relationship since their days together at Chiang Kai Shek.
The Sy family that owns NU tapped contractors and suppliers to support the various varsity teams in the Jhocson-based school.
Monteverde, on the other hand, has proven his mettle in the high school division, winning titles in Palarong Pambansa, Metro Manila Basketball League (MMBL), Tiong Lian Basketball League, and National Basketball Training Center (NBTC).
He also turned Adamson's juniors program into a force to be reckoned with before being lured to handle the NU Bullpups program, which he bolstered with recruits he brought with him from Adamson like Tamayo, Abadiano, as well as Migs Oczon and Robert Minerva from Chiang Kai Shek.
While the departure of Tamayo and Co. has undermined Monteverde's position in the school, insiders bared that he remains in charge while the team awaits its top backer, SM Prime Holdings president Hans Sy, to step in and sort things out.
The school has gone downhill since winning its first championship in 60 years in 2014 under coach Eric Altamirano, missing out on the Final Four for the past four seasons, including all three under Jarin.
If the mess is fixed and Monteverde stays, the team he will inherit in the college ranks won't be entirely devoid of talent.
Shaun Ildefonso, son of former NU Bulldogs star Danny, along with John Lloyd Clemente, JV Gallego, and Senegalese center Issa Gaye are just a few of the talented holdovers of the Jarin-coached squad that went 2-12 last year.
With Monteverde a proven winner and unquestionably one of the top coaches in the high school ranks, the Bulldogs can actually turn their fortunes around. But first, the internal wrangling that tore apart an NU team once dubbed as the league's 'team of the future' must be sorted out.
Therefore, the ball, insiders believe, is in Hans Sy's court.