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    Fun fact: Goldwin played for last coach to lead UP Maroons to a title

    May 11, 2022
    Joe Lipa Goldwin Monteverde
    PHOTO: Jerome Ascaño | UAAP Season 84 media team

    THIRTY-SIX years since he led a bunch of University of the Philippines Maroons headed by Benjie Paras to a UAAP men's basketball championship, Joe Lipa is thrilled to see the school on the brink of ending a long title drought.

    The veteran coach is happier that the man in charge of the present-day Maroons is no stranger to him.

    "I coached him in high school," he said of Goldwin Monteverde, the rookie coach who is one win away from leading the Fighting Maroons to their first UAAP championship since Lipa & Co.'s historic run back in 1986.

    [See Can UP Maroons fulfill their date with destiny?]

    According to Lipa, he had the chance to handle the young Monteverde after he steered a UP side led by Paras and backstopped by Ronnie Magsanoc and Eric Altamirano to that 1986 UAAP title.

    Right around that time, Lipa was also coaching ESQ Marketing in the old PABL, the national team which won a bronze medal in the 1986 Asian Games in Seoul, and UNO High School where the young Monteverde played.

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    "Noong mga panahon na 'yon, sa kotse na lang ako nakakapagpahinga," Lipa said chuckling.

    The former national coach led UNO High to the 1986 championship and was a consultant to his former player Milton Yu in the 1989 champion team that included Monteverde the player.

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    Fire and ice

    What impressed him the most about Monteverde the coach, however, was his cool demeanor in the sidelines, which Lipa said has had a calming effect on his players, especially amid the grinding pressure of a UAAP Finals.

    "He's so calm and well composed," said Lipa, who ironically is one of the most fiery bench tacticians that Philippine basketball has ever seen. "And that cool demeanor is rubbing off on his players."

    Current UP program director Bo Perasol echoed Lipa's words.

    "He's mild-mannered and soft-spoken," said Perasol of Monteverde. "The way he coaches, he's more on instructions at di sumisigaw. But he gets his message across."

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      When Game Two against Ateneo is played on Wednesday, Lipa won't be anywhere near the UP bench at MOA Arena. But the 78-year old coaching legend will be seating in front of his television, cheering the Maroons on to end the long dry spell.

      "I think this is the most talented UP team I've ever seen," said Lipa. "And all the elements who were there when we won in 1986 are here now, including the support of the school and the support of the [UP] community."

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      PHOTO: Jerome Ascaño | UAAP Season 84 media team
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