ALVIN Patrimonio is cherishing the opportunity to teach young players as he helps the University of Santo Tomas Tigers in their preparation for the coming UAAP season, according to UST coach Bong Dela Cruz.
Dela Cruz confirmed Patrimonio has been helping the UST basketball team in practices for two weeks now, although the four-time PBA MVP and current team manager of the Star Hotshots has no official designation with the Tigers at the moment.
“Tumutulong siya,” Dela Cruz told Spin.ph on Friday. “Hindi ko masabing committed na siya kasi alam mo naman, nasa Purefoods (Star’s old name) siya (as team manager)."
So far, Dela Cruz said Patrimonio is only attending UST practices thrice a week due to his other commitments, which the second-year UAAP head coach understands.
“Basta pag may time siya, tumutulong siya,” said Dela Cruz.
Although Patrimonio has no connection with UST being a Mapua Cardinal during his college days, Dela Cruz said Bocaue mayor Jonjon Villanueva, his former teammate in high school and one of the ardent supporters of the team, was able to convince the PBA legend to help the Tigers.
“Nag-usap kami ni mayor at sabi ko kailangan namin ng tutulong sa amin. Na-mention ni mayor si Alvin Patrimonio,” said Dela Cruz, recalling their conversation with Villanueva, brother of current Tesda director Joel Villanueva and son of evangelist Bro. Eddie Villanueva.
“Sabi ko sa kanya, 'Masyadong mahirap kasi siyempre Alvin Patrimonio ‘yan, four-time MVP.' Sabi niya, akong bahala. Doon nagsimula lahat,” said Dela Cruz, who also credited another former UST high school teammate, Kenneth Causon, for making Patrimonio's arrival possible.
Dela Cruz said Patrimonio has been helping the players in post plays, which was his specialty during his storied career with Purefoods in the PBA.
Dela Cruz said Patrimonio is enjoying the opportunity to help the UST players improved their game, based on his conversations with the PBA legend.
“Nag-eenjoy naman siya tumulong sa mga bata. Sabi nga niya sa akin, it’s time na mai-share niya ‘yung mga nalalaman niya,” said Dela Cruz.
Dela Cruz said Patrimonio is always welcome to be part of the UST Tigers in any capacity.
“Hindi ko pa masabi (kung makakasama siya sa bench). Basta may time siya, welcome siya,” Dela Cruz said.
The Varsitarian first reported Patrimonio joining UST practices in its website.