Long before PH fans fell in love with him, Thai coach Tai Bundit fell for a Filipina
According to former national player Rosemarie Prochina, Ateneo coach Tai Bundit was a member of the Thailand national team that competed in the 1993 SEA Games in Singapore. It was also in that conclave that the Philippine women's volleyball team last won a gold medal in the biennial event. Jerome Ascano

LONG before Filipino volleyball fans fell in love with Tai Bundit, did you know that the dancing Thai coach was the one who first fell in love with a Filipina.

In between giggles, Mane 'N Tail coach Rosemarie Prochina spilled the beans on the championship coach of the Ateneo Lady Eagles who she said courted one of the members of the last Philippine team to win a women's volleyball gold medal in the 1993 Southeast Asian Games.

That gold medal-winning team from the 1993 Games in Singapore was led by former volleyball queen Thelma Barina and included Zenaida Ybanez, Arlene Apostol, Leonora Escolante, Bernadette Burcelis and Prochina.

It also had a tall middle blocker from San Sebastian named Joy Degoroztisa.

Taking Spin.ph to a trip down memory lane, Prochina said that Philippine team foiled Thailand's quest for a third successive gold medal. However, one member of the Thailand's men's team was enamored enough to try and win the heart of Degoroztisa.

His name? Tai Bundit.

“’Yung coach nila (Lady Eagles) magkasabayan kami sa national team. ‘Yung coach nila na si Tai nagpang-abot kami,” recalled Prochina.

“Kami ‘yang (magkakasabayan) noong nanliligaw-ligaw pa ‘yan sa mga teammate ko. Si Joy Degoroztisa,” she added blushing.

Prochina paused and thought for a moment, expressing fear that she might be giving away too much information and that her friend might get mad. But she proceeded anyway, saying it's in the past anyway.

The rookie coach said she had no idea what came of the courtship. Degoroztisa, she said, is now based in Kuwait.

“Ewan ko kung nagkasagutan sila, huh! Naku baka (mapagalitan ako ni Joy) kasi nanligaw siya (Bundit) 'dun. Si Joy nasa Kuwait na siya ngayon.

“Actually, di ko masyado (nasubaybayan na ‘yung nangyari) kasi nga ‘yung laro ‘di ba ilang weeks lang ‘yun tapos hindi ko na alam kung ano nangyari,” she said.

Was Bundit rejected?

“’Di ko lang alam kung ganoon e (kung basted)," she laughed. "Pero ‘yun ‘yun.”

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