FOR Boycie Zamar, coaching the University of the East Warriors this season was like trying to repair an old car with some key parts missing.
“Kulang sa piyesa pero inayos mo at napatakbo mo, kahit papano nakapalo,” said Zamar.
The Warriors finished with a 3-11 win-loss record, mirroring its performance last season in a campaign that saw Zamar take over from former college teammate Jerry Codinera at the start of the second round of the eliminations in a desperate bid to turn things around for the school.
Zamar failed to do so, but he was still happy with what the team achieved in that span.
“Nakita mo naman na lumaban pero kulang lang talaga sa piyesa. Hindi ko naman piyesa ‘yun pero ‘yun ang nadatnan ko. But from my point of view, very satisfactory,” said Zamar.
The wins were still hard to come by during Zamar’s watch but the Warriors did catch the biggest fish of all, earning the distinction of becoming one of a few teams to beat four-time champion Ateneo this season with a 79-77 victory on September 6.
“One of the top teams ang Ateneo, naipanalo nila,” said Zamar.
Zamar may find solace in the small gains the team had achieved under him, but the future remained murky for a school whose last league championship came when Zamar and Codinera, together with legendary marksman Allan Caidic, were still donning the Warriors’ red-and-white uniform in the mid-eighties.
Roi Sumang seemed the only high-impact player in the roster while Adrian Santos and Chris Javier, who played the hero’s role in two of the Warriors’ three victories, appeared the only other players guaranteed roster spots next season.
The team will also lose three players to graduation in Gene Belleza, Erwin Duran and Sam Razon.
Even Zamar’s own future is uncertain. He is planning stints for the Warriors in international tournaments and in the D-League next year, but at the same time admitted that he is leaving it up to management to make the call on whether he returns next season or not.
But what Zamar does know is that if he is given the chance to rebuild the Warriors next season, he will put a premium on attitude.
“Kahit sabihin mo pang si Michael Jordan o si Shaquille O’Neal ‘yan pero kung attitude hindi karapat-dapat, useless din. Everything has to be scrutinized and evaluated from the coaching point of view,” said Zamar.
And hopefully, the missing pieces start showing up at the UE gym soon.