RAIN or Shine assistant coach Caloy Garcia said on Wednesday a chance to coach his alma mater Letran in the NCAA would not only be "challenging but also exciting."
Garcia, one of six candidates for the Letran coaching job soon to be vacated by Louie Alas, is set to be interviewed by Letran officials led by athletic director Fr. Vic Calvo on Saturday morning inside the campus.
“For me, I just want to let them know what I feel because I want to help Letran as a coach,” said Garcia, considered the favorite among the odd mix of coaches being considered by the Knights.
Garcia said anyone picked by Letran faces a daunting job of trying to emulate Alas, who led the Knights to three NCAA championships and to the Finals opposite San Beda in what turned out to be his final year with the team last season.
“Of course, coach Louie Alas is a tough act to follow. Hopefully, I could duplicate what coach Louie did to Letran because he did a great job of developing the players and instilling a strong fighting spirit,” Garcia said.
Garcia is not new to college coaching, having handled College of St. Benilde from 2005-2007.
He compiled a 9-31 win-loss record in three seasons with the Blazers, but Garcia felt he has since grown as a coach with the help of his mentors Leo Austria and now, Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao.
“Ang philosophy ko naman sa coaching is similar to coach Yeng, where we try to bring the best out of our players. Then work more on the defensive end,” said Garcia.
Garcia, a reserve in the 1992 Letran team under then coach Rudy Hines, has also won a championship with Welcoat in the old PBL and called the shots for the Painters in the PBA until he gave way to Guiao.
Aside from Garcia, also being considered for the position are former Letran champion coach Larry Albano, Nel Parado, and Ronjay Enrile along with current Knights assistants Tino Pinat and Monch Gavierres.
Alas is stepping down effective December 31.