HE is winless in 26 matches with University of the East, but coach Francis Vicente is far from quitting.
The former national coach is asking university officials to be patient, admitting that from the time he was hired by the school two years ago, he knew it could take up to five years before his vision becomes reality.
UE is on a 57-match losing run dating to Season 74 and with two matches remaining in its schedule, it has yet to bare plans next season.
“Hindi ka dapat mapagod, hindi pwedeng ganoon kasi if you’re rebuilding a team kailangan lagyan mo ng tiyaga at puso ang ginagawa mo eh,” he said.
“Kahit marami nagsasabing, ‘Resign ka na’, I never give up what I started,” he added. “So ’yung mga players, they need to see that kung ano ang sinumulan ko kailangan tapusin ko.”
“Kailangan hindi na magi-give up sa ganyan, kasi kung magi-give up ka parang pangit ’yun on my part as a coach. Kahit ano pang mangyari dyan, hang on ka pa rin. Para matutunan nila kung paano maging champion,” he continued.
Vicente was a former University of Santo Tomas girls volleyball team coach where he mentored Alyssa Valdez, sisters Dindin and Jaja Santiago, and Kim Fajardo before he moved to National U to call the shots for the women’s team.
He admitted results couldn’t cannot be achieved overnight for UE.
“First ’yung pagdating ko doon alam ko na kaagad it will take three, four, five years para totally umangat ‘yan,’ he said.
“Kasi unang-una, ’yung mentality ng mga bata nandoon pa rin ’yun eh. Unti-unti nawawala na, pumapasok na sa dibdib nila paano maging isang winner kaya lang hindi pa nila kayang i-sustain.”
“Kasi makikita niyo naman sa laro nila minsan mataas, minsan bababa,” he added. “So ’yung consistency ng way of thinking wala pa, hindi pa nila nagiging habit sa kabila na, ‘Hindi tayo pwedeng mapuntusan.’”
Vicente noted other schools have experienced time at the bottom, saying UE should be inspired by the rise of their rivals.
“From the past previous years medyo hirap din umangat so ngayon nakakuha sila ng malalaking player because of the recruitment so siguro doon nagsa-start ’yun. Ang pakiusap ko lang sa kanila just be patient, hindi naman ako magician na pag hinawakan ko malakas na ‘yan agad,” he said.
“Kahit naman sa UP ganoon din nagsa-start ’yan, ang La Salle dati nasa bottom line din ’yan, kahit naman ‘yung Ateneo nasa bottom line din dati except ‘yung FEU at UST laging nasa taas ‘yun since the history began sa UAAP. So ganoon lang ‘yun pakiusap ko lang patience,” he said.
UE will face Ateneo on April 6 and Adamson on April 13.