Ortuoste claims new San Sebastian coach kicked him out of roster
Jamil Ortuoste has broken his silence over his reported exclusion from the San Sebastian Stags line up under new head coach Egay Macaraya.
Feeling wronged by the turn of events that transpired in the San Sebastian camp, the shifty playmaker explained his side and expressed his disappointment with how new coach Egay Macaraya handled his situation.
“Parang ang unfair lang,” he told INQUIRER.net. “At first, pinili kong maging tahimik. Wala akong pinagsabihan. Pero noong Tuesday, doon na sumama yung loob ko. Sya na kasi mismo ang nag-desisyon para sa akin pero gustong gusto ko namang lumaro sa NCAA.”
Ortuoste said that everything seemed fine when Macaraya was first introduced as Rodney Santos’ successor as the head coach of San Sebastian.
“Nag-usap pa nga kami noong pinakilala sya. Kami pa nga ang huling nag-usap at diniscuss nya yung programs nya,” he said.
The problem, however, arose when Macaraya announced the 9 a.m. training schedule, which would directly coincide with M-W-F classes of Ortuoste, a graduating business management major. “In-address ko agad sa mga pari yun. Inunahan ko agad kasi conflict nga. Ang sabi lang gagawan ng paraan,” he recalled.
What caught Ortuoste off guard was the events that followed: Macaraya reportedly had announced to the team that Ortuoste wasn’t suiting up for the Stags anymore because of the conflict with his studies.
“Nagpaalam ako kay coach Egay na hindi ako makakapag-practice nung araw na yun dahil may klase ako ng Monday. Tinanong nya kung hanggang anong oras. Ang sabi ko hanggang 10:30 a.m. Binanggit ko na rin naman na may problema dahil 9 a.m. yung klase ko. Sinabihan na lang nya ako na tapusin ko ang pag-aaral ko tutal graduating na rin naman ako,” he said.
“Nagulat na lang ako kasi bakit ganun. Tapos the other day, sinabi na lang nya sa team na di na ako maglalaro dahil nag-decide daw ako na tatapusin ko na lang yung pag-aaral ko. Pero sya na mismo yung nag-decide para sa akin.”
Though Ortuoste’s scholarship remains, his allowance had already been cut off.
But what hurt the guard the most was his missed chance to showcase his talents on what should have been his final year in the NCAA.
“Di na ako nagpakita sa team kasi sumama talaga yung loob. Ang tagal kong iningatan yung spot ko sa team tapos tatanggalin lang ng ganun. Last year ko na sana, and kumbaga, parang pinaka-peak na ng career ko kasi plano ko na rin magpa-draft,” Ortuoste said.
Though he said that Macaraya’s claims of his knee and back injuries are partly true, Ortuoste said that he has managed to overcome those struggles as evidenced by his spotless appearance in the Golden Stags’ games for the last two years.
“Mula pa nung pumasok ako sa Baste, may injury na ako sa likod na slip disc. Pero di naman yun naging burden kasi nakakalaro naman ako at hindi yun naging excuse last two years,” he said. “Kung tutuusin nga, kaya hindi ako nag-D-League kasi gusto ko mag-focus sa NCAA at yun ang priority ko.”
Ortuoste couldn’t hide his frustration with how things went, saying he’s struggling to find a reason to hold a basketball again lately.
“Simula nung di ako pinag-practice, di na ulit ako humawak ng bola. Yung kumpyansa ko, walang wala na at sobrang baba na ng morale ko. Di ko alam kung kaya ko pa maglaro pero kung siguro kung sakaling may kumuha sa akin, lalaro ako.”
But the Stags, he said, will unfortunately be no longer be part of his future plans.
“Di na siguro ako babalik sa San Sebastian kung sya pa rin ang hahawak,” Ortuoste said, while still dedicated to finish his studies in Recto. “Mahirap na kasi hindi na ganun ka-healthy yung relationship namin. Baka mamaya, sa gitna na lang ng season, bigla na lang di ako gamitin. Ang hirap na magtiwala.”
INQUIRER.net has tried to get the side of Macaraya on the issue, but he hasn’t responded to any of the messages as of posting.
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