Joe Silva departure as coach no big deal for UE players, says Chongson
MANILA, Philippines—Of the eight teams in the UAAP Season 82 men’s basketball tournament, none endured more turmoil weeks before the opening day than University of the East.
The Red Warriors changed coaches a day before their game against University of Santo Tomas with Joe Silva resigning from his post and in his stead came in Bong Tan, son of school owner Lucio Tan.
Although Silva held the “head coach” title during the offseason, consultant Lawrence Chongson “has been coaching them for the past four months.”
“Coach Joe knew the setup, he was part of it but he just wouldn’t let go of the title but he allowed me to coach them,” said Chongson in Filipino after UE’s 95-82 loss to University of Santo Tomas Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Chongson coached UE to some of its more fruitful seasons during the 2000s when he had the players of Paul Lee, Elmer Espiritu, Pari Llagas, James Martinez, and Bonbon Custodio.
“It’s nothing new, so when he left it wasn’t a big deal to the players and it wasn’t even an issue to them.”
Chongson, though, drew irritation from people within UE who put some color on the coaches’ setup and Silva’s resignation.
“The issue arose when people in the school tried to interfere and tried to make a circus out of it,” said Chongson. “It then became a distraction so what I do is empower my players not only in basketball but in life.”
“They listen to me because I just don’t teach about basketball, I also talk about life in general and what is right from wrong.”
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