Long road back ends for Uichico
Jong Uichico labored long and hard to reprise what he did with regularity in the past—winning championships. And what a way to announce his return.
Back in the limelight after close to four years assisting other established coaches, Uichico on Wednesday night steered Talk ‘N Text to a Game 7 victory for the ages over Rain or Shine to clinch the PBA Commissioner’s Cup title.
Uichico won out in a chess match of a game with Rain or Shine’s Yeng Guiao with the record-setting 121-119 double overtime victory giving him the ninth championship of his career and his first since 2008, when he steered Ginebra San Miguel to the Philippine Cup title, also in a Game 7, over defunct Air21.
His victory was the culmination of another long road back when he left the San Miguel conglomerate to join Ryan Gregorio as assistant at Meralco, Chot Reyes with the Gilas Pilipinas program and later on Norman Black at Talk ‘N Text.
The Tropang Texters, whose nucleus is one of the oldest in the league, needed a shot in the arm after three failed bids last season and tapped Uichico beginning with this season’s Philippine Cup.
“I won’t forget where I came from,” Uichico told reporters after the win. “I would like to thank boss Danding and boss Henry Cojuangco for my time with San Miguel and, of course, Mr. MVP (Manny V. Pangilinan) for this chance.
“The feeling is always the same, you’re happy when you win and devastated when you lose. We will savor this moment (tonight), but we will go back to work again tomorrow.”
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