CHRIS Cantonjos poured out his frustrations on Tuesday as he made his departure as University of Santo Tomas juniors coach official following the Tiger Cubs' 91-72 loss to National University in the UAAP Juniors stepladder semifinals.
Cantonjos, a former UST star whose contract is set to expire this year, had some fiery parting words before he officially vacates the post and give way to a new staff that is set to be hand-picked by new varsity coach Aldin Ayo.
“Sabi ko nga, this is my last year naman na. Kahit i-renew ako or whatever, ayoko na rin naman so ito na rin yung last year na magco-coach ako sa UST,” said Cantonjos, a member of the UST team that won four straight titles from 1993 - the year it completed a historic season sweep.
“Magfa-file ako ng resignation para maging clear lang. Gagawin kong official."
Cantonjos, however, made it clear the parting of ways is by no means cordial as he expressed dismay over the way the team was neglected by officials of the school's athletics department the moment Ayo's team was brought in to replace former Tigers coach Boy Sablan.
"Linawin ko, worth fighting for ang UST kasi nung naglaro ako talagang nakikipagpatayan ako diyan," he said. "Kung ganun lang naman yung support, mahirap.”
He trained his guns at the school's new head of athletics.
“Nung may pumalit na bago, binalewala kami. Sana man lang pinasalamatan man lang niya or inencourage man lang niya 'yung mga players namin sa juniors. Ni minsan walang nakuhang encouragement,” Cantonjos said.
"Sabi ko nga, yung support, hindi balance yung nangyari. Naisantabi kami. Dapat, pari tayo, dapat balance yung pakikitungo."
Cantonjos also hit out at Ayo’s open recruitment of his star player, CJ Cansino which the coach found disrespectful since the season was still ongoing at that time.
“Pag nagre-recruit ng player, baka di niya alam kasi hindi siya nagre-recruit, lumalapit muna sa coach. Yun ang number one. Kahit sinong coach ang tanungin niyo, respect, paalam ka sa coach. Ilang taon na ako nagre-recruit sa Palarong Pambansa, unang pinupuntahan ko ay yung coach,” he added.
“Kumbaga, (auto)matic na 'yun. Lalo ngayon, nagre-recruit siyang players, ayoko naman na may makasapak sa kanyang iba.”
While Cantonjos admitted feeling heartbroken and disappointed with the way they were treated by school officials, the fiery coach said his heart will always be with the Tigers.
“Ang support ko sa Tigers, kahit anong mangyari, Tiger ako. May plaque ako dun sa lumang gym e,” said Cantonjos.
And his parting words for the new guys coming in?
“I wish them good luck. Ilang years siya dun, sana makapag-champion siya. Ma-break niya yung 14-0 namin. Sana ma-break niya yun kasi medyo maangas ng kaunti.”