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    Players express gratitude as Nes Pamilar 'a mentor to the very end'

    Jan 17, 2019
    PHOTO: Dante Peralta

    PLAYERS and coaches who have worked with Nes Pamilar say the beloved mentor will be irreplaceable in their hearts.

    Longtime assistant Ariel de la Cruz, San Beda skippers Angelo Michael Torres and Cesca Racraquin, and other players paid tribute to Pamilar, who passed away on Saturday due to heart failure.

    San Beda assistant Dela Cruz was recruited by Pamilar as a player from Basilan in the 2001 Palarong Pambansa. Together they won championships at Letran in high school and college and De la Cruz went on to work as assistant under Pamilar in various schools and clubs.

    “Eighteen years kaming nagsama, since 2001 until the end of his life. Talagang yun na ang pinakamasakit sa akin kasi bago siya dalhin sa ospital ako ang kausap niya,” said Dela Cruz. “Kumbaga ako yung huling kausap niya na player. Marami siyang pinagbilin.”

    “Siguro ako masasabi ko talaga na he’s a father in volleyball. Hanggang sa huling hininga niya hindi niya pinabayaan ang volleyball,” Dela Cruz added. “Yung pagmamahal niya sa volleyball hindi lang 100 percent more than 150 percent pa yung pagmamahal niya sa volleyball.”

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    Pamilar was supposed to call the shots for San Beda Red Spikers in their last elimination game in NCAA Season 94 men’s volleyball tournament on Monday but he didn’t make it.

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    The Red Spikers lost to the semifinals-bound Arellano Chiefs, 17-25, 25-22, 16-25, 12-25, with Dela Cruz coaching the team, finishing the season with a 2-7 win-loss record.

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    Torres said they got an earful from the coach, but acknowledged that they needed to hear it.

    “Kilala naman natin si coach Nes na isa siyang inspirasyon sa aming lahat kasi pagkapasok niya pa lang sa amin, alam namin agad na siya talaga pinakamagaling na coach dito,” Torres said.

    “Lagi niyang sinasabi sa amin yung mali namin kasi si coach hindi ka naman niya papagalitan kung ayaw mo matuto. Lahat ng dumaan na player sa kanya pinagalitan niya para sa amin. Yung mga sinasabi niya, sa amin lahat 'yun tumatak sa amin kasi wala namang hindi natuto sa kanya na hindi niya napagalitan.”

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    Lady Red Spikers coach Nemesio Gavino said he will miss his former mentor at Letran.

    “Nalungkot ako kasi naging mentor ko siya, naging coach ko siya. Isa siya sa mga maraming na-contribute sa volleyball dito sa Pilipinas,” Gavino said.

    Gavino’s wards, led by Cesca Racraquin, said Pamilar made them smile every time they see each other.

    “Yung team kasi namin kinakausap niya talaga kami, parang yung way ni coach Nes kasi kunwari di ka niya kakausapin pero low key na parang, ‘Ilang years ka pa?’ Tapos pag nasasalubong mo siya talagang smiling face siya na ‘Hi. Hello! Hello!’” Racraquin shared.

    “Nakaka-good vibes siya kasi magaling na coach siya tapos pinapansin kami tapos binibigyan kami ng time din. Nakaka-sad sobra nung nalaman namin na pumanaw na si coach Nes.”

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    Jovie Prado, who played for Pamilar since 2016 from Laoag, Power Smashers and Tacloban, said she along with other players owe a lot to the veteran coach.

    The Arellano standout said Pamilar gave equal opportunities to NCAA and UAAP players.

    “Sobrang halaga po noon sa amin. Siya po ang pinakauna naming naging coach sa commercial league,” Prado said. “Siya ang naging way namin para makapasok kami sa liga na mas nabibigyan ng chance na makapasok yung mga nasa UAAP kumpara sa aming nasa NCAA. Kumbaga malaking chance ang pagtitiwala niya sa amin.”

    Abil agreed, saying she will be bringing all the lessons she learned from the father-figure coach wherever she goes.

    “Si coach Nes po hindi lang siya naging coach sa amin, naging tatay din siya sa aming lahat. Nandoon yung pagtitiwala talaga. Nagbigay siya ng aral sa amin na hindi lang basta sa school lang,” the UE Lady Red Warrior said.

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    “Tinulungan niya akong lumabas sa shell ko. Sobrang nakakabigla lang noong nalaman ko sa group chat namin, na yung nga biglaan.”

    Kyle Negrito and Heather Guino-o, two Lady Tamaraws who suited up for Tacloban under Pamilar, are proud to have worked under the last coach to deliver a title to Far Eastern University.

    “Si coach Nes although nasa ibang collegiate team na siya ngayon, lagi niyang sinasabi sa amin ni Heather sa Tacloban na ‘FEU tayo. FEU tayo. Iba tayo.’ Ganun yung pang motivate niya,” Negrito said.

    Guino-o is thankful for all the sacrifices of Pamilar just to give the players’ needs even if it was beyond the scope of his responsibility.

    “Halos yung pinakita niya sa amin ni Ate Kyle na sobra niya kaming winelcome na ramdam na ramdam namin talaga na kung paano siya mag-alaga sa isang player,” Guino-o said.

    “Grabe siya mag-motivate sa isang player, lagi niya sa amin na bakit namin kailangan intindihin yung sinasabi ng iba. Alam naman namin sa sarili namin na hindi totoo. Sinasabihan niya kami na ipakita namin kung ano talaga yung kaya namin.”

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    “Yung mga simpleng bagay na binibigay niya sa amin na parang hindi na niya dapat obligasyon na ibigay sa amin pero binibigay niya pa rin,” she said.

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    PHOTO: Dante Peralta
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