ATENEO coach Tai Bundit is weighing his options whether to stay with the Lady Eagles or go back to Thailand to continue his military duties after Season 78 of the UAAP women's volleyball tournament.
Lady Eagles team manager Tony Boy Liao shared to a handful of reporters on Wednesday afternoon that Bundit has been inquiring about his contract’s renewal since the second of back-to-back championships last year.
His contract is set to expire at the end of the season.
“When we won last year, he was asking kung ire-renew ang contract (niya). Sabi ko, 'Definitely,'” said Liao. “Renew ‘yan kasi sino naman ‘di magre-renew eh nag champion siya back-to-back pa.”
“Ngayon when we were starting (the season), he was asking me kung paano renewal ng kontrata after this season,” he added.
But what had earlier looked like a done deal has since become uncertain after the Lady Eagles suffered an uncharacteristic midseason wobble, losing two games including one to bitter rival La Salle.
Liao, though, was quick to reassure the Thai mentor when he last inquired about a contract extension.
“Nag 6-0 kami, then natalo sa La Salle, tinanong uli ako papano kontrata,” revealed Liao. “Sabi ko, ‘Wag muna pag-usapan kontrata matagal pa ang tournament eh,' kasi nga siguro worried siya.”
According to the Ateneo official, Bundit’s contract will definitely be extended if he can steer the Lady Eagles to a third consecutive Finals appearance, or better yet a three-peat championship.
However, Bundit’s desire to serve his country is also a major factor behind the coach's constant concern about his stint with the Lady Eagles, as there's an appealing offer waiting for him in Thailand.
But Liao said the team is willing to make a counter offer, especially if they get back to the finals, and it will then be up to Bundit which offer he wants more.
“He’s an Air Force officer sa Thailand. Once in a while pag break, uwi siyang Thailand, at mayroon siyang mga boss doon gusto siyang pabalikin. Kung bumalik siya one rank higher, so pinapipili siya,” said Liao.
“One rank higher o dito siya. If he stays here, he will earn bigger, I will not say how much but bigger.”
“Maybe the family there wants him to stay here. Siya naman pride [na ma-promote], one rank higher,” he continued. “Sabi ko sa kanya, if we play in the Finals most probably we will renew your contract, finals eh. Lalo na kung manalo. Basta Finals siya renewed contract, for sure.”