Grateful NU owner Hans Sy on coach Altamirano's next contract: 'As long as he wants'
NU chairman Hans Sy and coach Eric Altamirano savor the winning moment. Jerome Ascano

A GRATEFUL Hans Sy intends to keep Eric Altamirano as head coach of National University as long as possible.

The NU chairman and the school’s chief backer bared that Altamirano is actually in the final year of his four-year contract with the Bulldogs, but assured that there will be no coaching changes anytime soon.

“Actually four years,” said Sy, when asked about the contract of NU’s head coach who was hired in 2011.

Sy admitted there was uncertainty over Altamirano's future after the top-seeded Bulldogs were bounced out of the Final Four by University of Santo Tomas.

“I know there were a lot of questions na akala last year, tatangalin namin siya. In fact, I talked to Eric and I said this is what happens, 'Alam ng tao, end of contract, maraming nag-aapply.'

“But I assured him and told him, 'Don’t worry, we will continue with you because I believe in your program.' I know how he gained the respect of the players,” said Sy.

[See NU Bulldogs finally shed 'shameful' image]

Altamirano repaid Sy's faith this season, guiding the Bulldogs to their first UAAP championship in 60 years with an emphatic Game Three victory over the FEU Tamaraws on Wednesday.

Before that, NU beat Ateneo in two games to become only the second fourth-seeded team to make the finals. In turn, the Bulldogs also became the first fourth-ranked team at the end of the elims to win the UAAP title.

On how long Altamirano's new contract would be, Sy didn’t give an exact timetable but hinted that the longer, the better.

“As long as we can. As long as he wants,” said Sy.

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