CALLS for changes to the University of the Philippines Maroons have escalated over the past few days, but under-fire coach Rey Madrid is no longer surprised.
“Alam mo naman sa UP, it’s a year-to-year talk. Wala naman kaming guarantee of continuation until you start again. Subject ka lagi sa performance audit,” Madrid said when asked about rumors of an impending coaching change at the Diliman school.
“Lagi naman akong ready (na maalis). Wala naming contract sa UP eh. It’s always an appointment paper and it is only good for one year,” he added.
The push for changes in the Maroons camp is being led by no less than team manager Dan Palami, who said a top-to-bottom revamp is necessary to reinvigorate a floundering program that has won just 10 UAAP games over the past eight years.
Palami, also the manager of the Philippine Azkals, also wants the head-coaching position 'virtually vacated' to leave the door open for other applicants.
Madrid nonetheless got a much-needed backing from Dean Ronwaldo Dizer of the College of Human Kinetics who said he doesn't see the need to change coaches at the moment.
“We really need to expound the word revamp. When you say it, it doesn’t necessarily mean you will change the coach," he told Spin.ph.
Asked if he has already talked to Palami, Madrid said: “Nag-usap na kami, wala naman kaming napag-usapan about the performance. Ina-assess lang niya yung performance,” he said.
Madrid, however, said UP has been 'very impatient' with its coaches over the years, insisting that continuity is needed to sustain any program designed to revive the long-suffering Maroons.
“Ang sa akin lang, for the past eight or 10 years, UP has been very impatient. There’s always a revolving door ng coaches,” he said.
“Ang sa akin, sana magkaroon ng sustained effort that could stand a little bit more, para ma-put into place yung program,” Madrid stressed.
“We have ignited na interest, everything, lahat. And we have been trying to show a different kind of basketball… sana ma-isustain yun,” he added.
Asked on what ails the Maroons, Madrid pointed to the perennial recruitment problem where the school has to settle to 'rejects' from other more prominent programs.
“Pag kukunin mo ang UP, tingnan mo ang lineup ng UP and other teams that participated the past seasons. They are a bunch of rejects and hand me downs,” said the outspoken coach.
“They were a team that was passed on by other bigger programs, that’s why they (players) ended up here sa UP. So if you would assess it, UP is a Team B of a lot of other programs,” he said.
“Isa-isahin mo ang mga pangalan niyan (players sa UP team). Make a shallow investigation. Makikita mo na ito dating Team B ng La Salle, ito dating Team B ng Ateneo, ito rejected sa tryout. Wala naman kaming premiere or marquee player na nagpunta sa amin for the past five o six years,” Madrid added.