Anusorn “Tai” Bundit is still the Ateneo women’s volleyball coach for now.
Amid rumors of the Thai coach’s reported ouster, Ateneo president Fr. Jett Villarin, SJ admitted that there are concerns within the Lady Eagles, but those were not enough to merit the immediate ouster of the coach who turned the school’s volleyball program around.
“I would like to inform everyone that Coach Tai is still with the team,” he said in a statement. “In fact, I just had a meeting with Coach Tai and our athletics people this morning. And I will soon be meeting with our players. I must acknowledge though that there are issues within the team, as in all teams, and that these will require some time to resolve.”
Villarin had to step in to mend the reported rift between Bundit and the Lady Eagles, with much of the unresolved issues stemming from the players’ alleged displeasure over the mentor’s hard practices.
Ateneo team manager Tony Boy Liao said on Wednesday that Bundit was asked to go on leave by Ateneo athletics director Em Fernandez.
But Villarin requested fans to avoid any speculation as the school tries to clear up the matter.
“I appeal to your patience and understanding as we try to resolve these internal issues,” said Villarin. “I also appeal to your better sense to refrain from any speculation or spreading of falsehood that may besmirch the reputation of our fine players, our good coach and our school.”
Bundit led the Lady Eagles to four consecutive Finals appearances, highlighted by the school’s first women’s volleyball titles in Seasons 76 and 77.
Members from that back-to-back title run, though, felt sorry for Bundit’s current situation.
“Of course, it’s sad because he really gave a lot for the school,” said setter Jia Morado.
Michelle Morente also acknowledged multititled mentor’s huge part in helping her become one of the best opposite spikers in college today.
“When I heard the news, I was saddened because we spent a lot of years together and I learned a lot from him,” she said. “I’m so thankful to him because I know I improved a lot as a player. I got my physical and mental toughness from him.”
“Though we had a love-hate relationship, I still loved and respected him despite all the pains we had to endure during training, some of which even made me cry,” said middle blocker Aerieal Patnongon.