JUST a month before Season 79 of the UAAP women's volleyball tournament, Ateneo might find itself bidding goodbye to head coach Tai Bundit.
The Thai mentor is reportedly planning to step down as coach the Lady Eagles following the resignation of team manager Tonyboy Liao recently.
School athletic director Em Fernandez confirmed to SPIN.ph that Liao, the man responsible for bringing the Thai coach to the Philippines three years ago, has stepped down from his post.
"Wala na kaming team manager eh, it's just ah, wala naman talagang team manager sa Ateneo. He's (Liao) one of the last," said Fernandez.
"When Sir Ricky (Palou, former athletic director) stepped down (a year ago), he (Liao) said he'll be stepping down na rin," added the Ateneo sports official.
According to Liao, if he's out of the team, then there's no more reason for Bundit to stay.
"Kung ganoon ang mangyayari sabi ni Tai kung wala ako, wala na rin siya diyan. Si Tai kasi ang sabi sa akin kung aalis ako sasama na rin siya," said Liao.
"Ako kasi ang nagdala sa kanya (Bundit) dito sa Maynila," he added. "Para kasi sa kanya parang 'di maganda na kung aalis ako tapos maiiwan siya."
Liao brought Bundit to Ateneo in 2013 to replace Roger Gorayeb.
Ateneo was then on a rebuilding mode after losing its celebrated Fab 5 of Gretchen Ho, Fille Cainglet, Jem Ferrer, Dzi Gervacio, and A Nacachi, leaving only Alyssa Valdezas the cornerstone of the team.
But Bundit, who barely speaks English, turned out to be what the doctors had order for the Lady Eagles after steering the team to its first league title since joining the UAAP in 1978.
Behind his heart strong mantra, Bundit turned the underdogs Lady Eagles into back-to-back champions, denying arch rival La Salle the title for two consecutive seasons in 2014 and 2015, which they capped by completing a rare 16-0 sweep of the tournament.