TOP Ateneo backer Manny V. Pangilinan has played down the pressure on Blue Eagles coach Bo Perasol, saying it is expected for a coach of the high-profile team that is going through rough times in the UAAP.
Perasol has come under fire after back-to-back losses, but got a timely backing when Ateneo officials issued a memo expressing confidence in the coach amid 'concerns' over the Blue Eagles' campaign.
Asked about the mounting pressure on the coach, Pangilinan, who is believed to have recommended Perasol for the position, said even past champion coaches of Ateneo had to go through the same experience.
“Ganun naman talaga eh, kahit nung time ni Norman (Black) may mga ingay na ganun, we can’t always have pleasing feedback,” he told Spin.ph with a smile.
“He (Perasol) is still the coach, wala naman akong naririnig (na papalitan siya),” said Pangilinan.
Another former Ateneo coach, Joe Lipa, said the pressure is understandable but said changing coaches in midstream may not be a good idea.
Recalling his stint at Katipunan in the late nineties, Lipa said, “(During my time) away-away kami. Kasi maingay talaga sila (alumni) and ganyan sila pag natatalo eh. They hate to lose."
Lipa, who led University of the Philippines to its only UAAP title, said the pressure can be greater for Perasol, who, like him, is an 'outsider' when he took on the Ateneo job.
“Saka very conservative kasi ang team na 'yan, as much as possible they want their coach to be from their own backyard. Ako nun, hindi pa ko tumutuntong sa Ateneo, may mga nang-iintriga na sa akin,” said Lipa.
“Right from the start yata ayaw na nila kay Bo eh. Kasi, I was on the same seat where Bo is stting now,” he said.
“Mahirap ang dagat na binabagtas ni Bo dyan. Pero I hope they (alumni) realize na mas makakaganda if they let Bo stay muna,” said the former national coach.
Lipa said Perasol needs time to bring back the glory days of the Blue Eagles, especially now that other teams in the UAAP are also aggressively beefing up.
“Imagine, when Joel Banal took over the reins, a lot of alumni were also asking for the head of Joel. He needed two more years to continue my program bago mag-champion,” he recalled.
“Even Norman Black, whom they idolize as a coach, it took him four years before he became a champion coach, si Bo eh pang third year pa lang eh,” said Lipa.
Lipa believes Pangilinan and school officials will still have the final say on Perasol's fate.
“MVP pa rin yan, the alumni can create a lot of noise, pero ultimate decision will still be with MVP,” he said.