RETURNING head coach Tai Bundit is elated to call the shots for Creamline again after a six-month hiatus but insists that title-retention bid won’t be easy in the Premier Volleyball League Season 3 Reinforced Conference.
“I’m happy because Creamline is my team,” said Bundit after a fitting comeback as the Cool Smashers beat Motolite, 13-25, 25-19, 25-16, 25-23, on Saturday at the Arena in San Juan City.
The two-time PVL champion coach returned to Creamline with three straight wins in four games holding the solo second place behind unbeaten leader PetroGazz (5-0).
Before Bundit arrived to the Philippines on Monday, the Cool Smashers, controversially, parted ways with Chinese mentor Huanning Li after losing their campaign opener, while Assistant coach Ed Ortega took over winning back-to-back matches against Pacifictown-Army and BanKo.
Creamline skipper Alyssa Valdez is relieved that the coach, with whom she won two UAAP titles in Ateneo and as many as PVL championships, is back.
“Knowing coach Tai’s program, most of us na nasa team niya na-mentor na niya eh, napagdaanan na yun,” Valdez said. I guess we’re trying to adapt sa pagbabalik niya, sa system. More than ever we have to bring back the happy and heartsrong mantra of coach Tai. I think yun ang pinaka-crucial at key this season kasi nga lahat ng teams malalakas.”
Last December, Bundit expressed his desire to go back to Thailand for good to take care of his wife, 13-year-old son and twin daughters.
But now that his eldest son is already high school, Bundit’s wife allowed him to accept Creamline’s offer.
“Six months ago I went back to fix everything,” he said. “My son he (took) exam to go to high school, which is top 5 in Thailand. My wife says okay because my son is high school so you can go to Philippines.”
But Bundit stressed that his return won’t assure Creamline an instant title success because of the vastly-improved teams.
“This is not easy because I need to tune up my team because we have no receive,” Bundit said. “We need to think [about] Final Four first before thinking [about being a] champion again.”
For them to succeed, Bundit is applying another ‘heartstrong’ and ‘happy, happy’ mantra to Creamline again.
“You focus with me and play happy. If you play happy, you focus you can win but me time to tune up you and me again,” Bundit said.