FORMER PBA superstar Kenneth Duremdes on Wednesday rued the lack of due process and the 'unprofessional' handling of his firing as Adamson coach, which he said he only learned from the media.
“Tinanggal talaga ako. Hindi ako na-release lang,” said Duremdes, visibly still fuming from the firing which the school announced through the media on Monday. “Of course, nagulat ako. Hindi naman natin inaasahan 'yun.”
At the same time, the former PBA MVP also did not hide his resentment over his alma mater's 'lack of professionalism,' saying he was informed about his firing in a text message, after the school had already announced it to them media.
“Ang nakakasama ng loob, nabasa ko muna sa media na aalisin ako bago nalaman. Tapos sinabihan lang nila ako na wala na ako sa pwesto sa pamamagitan lang ng text. Anong kapormalan yun?” he said.
“Manong kinausap man lang ako ng personal. Kaya naman nating tanggapin 'yung ganyang desisyon na tinatanggal. Pero 'yung naging trato sa akin (sa pagtanggal) nakakasama talaga ng loob.”
“Tinatanong ko sila kung ano ang dahilan, wala silang maisagot sa akin,” said Duremdes.
The former high-flying forward from Marbel, South Cotabato also isn't biting the explanation of Adamson management that it wants a full time coach to take his post, saying he has never been remiss in his duties.
“Tinatanong ko sila, ano ba ang ibig sabihin niyo sa full time? Nine hours a day? Six days a week? Hindi naman nila ko masagot,” he said.
Duremdes also defended his obligations outside the school, saying every overseas stint he had with a touring team of PBA legends had the consent of the management.
“Nasa dugo na natin yang basketball eh. Saka naglalaro man ako, I make sure na hindi ito nakaka-apekto sa mga trabaho ko as coach,” he said.
Even his last trip to Las Vegas last month had the school officials' consent, 'Captain Marbel' insisted.
“Katunayan, pinayagan pa nila kong mag-coaching clinic sa Las Vegas last month. Lahat ng ginagawa ko sa labas, may paalam sa kanila. Pumapayag sila. Nasa akin pa nga hanggang ngayon lahat ng mga text ng pagpayag nila eh,” he said.
“So for me, wala akong nilalabag at wala akong nakikitang reason (para sibakin nila ko) at kung merun man, pwede naman siguro pag-usapan. Hindi 'yung ganito na biglaan lahat,” he added.
The 10-time PBA All Star bared he was even able to bring along a Fil-American prospect from his trip in the US.
“Nag-scout rin nga ako run, may dala na nga akong Fil-Am eh,” he said.
Duremdes, a former Falcons star who took over the coaching reins from Leo Austria starting last season, claimed he was in the school campus hours before and after the team's 12-3 p.m. practices daily.
“Andito lang naman ako lagi sa school and in fact, after I came back from the US, twice a day pa kami nag-eensayo ngayon. Kaya kung sasabihin nila na may pagkakamali ako, hindi ako naniniwala,” he insisted.
Duremdes also justified the Falcons' 1-13 (win-loss) campaign in his first season in charge.
“Performance base ang nakikita kong rason (kaya ako naalis) but then again, hindi ko kasalanan 'yun. Dumating ako sa team na 'yan, walang player. Rebuilding talaga. Three years nga ang programa namin dyan eh. Nakaka-isang season pa lang ako,” said the former Powerade Tigers alternate governor.
Duremdes insisted that apart from the usual minor problems with the players and team, he sees no other reason why he was not given due process before he was given the pink slip.
The PBA great said he explained his side to Adamson president Father Greg Banaga in a meeting on Tuesday afternoon.
“Nag-usap nga kami ni Father Greg. Sabi ko, 'Father, dapat nauna ito eh (meeting natin now) kesa 'yung announcement ng team manager mo sa media na aalisin na ako,'” he said.
“Pero sabi ko nga, wala akong sama ng loob sa mga pari (ng Adamson). Pero hindi ko maiaalis na magtaka ako sa nagging trato sa akin ng management,” he said.
Asked what the real reason was behind his firing, Duremdes only shook his head.
"Malalim," he said without elaborating.
Here's a Spin.ph video of the interview with Duremdes: