ATENEO school officials' assurance that coach Bo Perasol will stay on for the rest of UAAP Season 78 gets one distraction out of the way as the Blue Eagles try to get back on the winning track.
Perasol said the decision of the school will allow the team to get its focus back on the task at hand.
“At least, the team is settled in a sense na wala na masyado ‘yung gulo sa isip nila about my transition. We’ve spoken all our pieces along with management. What we can focus on now is the second round,” said the soft-spoken mentor.
“It helped a lot that we were able to thresh out kung ano man ‘yung gray areas or anything na hindi clear. That’s why I need to appreciate what management had done na talagang linagay sa tama.”
Perasol’s job appeared to be on the line after top Ateneo backers sought a coaching change following losses to University of Santo Tomas and archrival De La Salle in games in which the Blue Eagles blew double-digit leads.
The under-fire coach, however, got a vote of confidence from school officials who issued a memo saying Perasol will be staying on for the season despite 'concern' over the Blue Eagles' performance.
Perasol said the criticisms are par for the court, reiterating he serves at the pleasure of both school and management.
But he vows to work even harder in hopes of leading the Blue Eagles to a championship.
“Again, ‘yung service ko sa team is nasa behest ng management and ng school. They’ve given me the chance to lead this team. I would do the best of my ability this second round. Pinangalingan ko sa PBA, palagi naman na ganun. I serve at the best interest of management.”
Perasol said he’s not taking the criticism personally, instead using the bashing as motivation.
“Alam ko na we are going to struggle with what we have. Siyempre we have rookies, pero ang importante is we are improving. Knowing Ateneo, Ateno hates to lose. I’m in the middle of that. Natural lang na mapunta sa akin (the criticisms) dahil I’m the leader. They can’t pinpoint anybody. That’s going to happen with anybody who would lead this team.
“I really don’t take it personally. But again, what can I do? I need to do more to lead this team,” he stressed.
The Blue Eagles lost for the second straight time on Sunday, dropping a 66-61 decision to Far Eastern University. Still, Perasol liked the way Ateneo played to start the second round, expressing optimism on the team’s campaign.
“Even though natalo kami this game, I think we have proven na unti-unting nagkakaroon ng character ‘yung mga rookies namin. I’m really positive in what this team can do.
“Again, the criticism will not be going away because of the nature of what Ateneo stands for, excellence and being the best. That’s what we preach also to our players. Sometimes, it takes time,” Perasol said.