Who can coach the Letran Knights?
by rick olivares
A little over a month after the NCAA champions Letran lost their head coach to La Salle, the Knights are still without a head coach. In a conversation with Letran Athletics Director Fr. Vic Calvo O.P., he bared that they have yet to find a replacement. “Kausap ko mga bata and they said na huwag magmadali maghanap ng replacement,” said Fr. Calvo in a conversation outside the San Juan Arena during the NCAA Volleyball tournament last Monday, December 14. “We should take our time in deciding until we get the right coach. But syempre, hindi rin naman natin puwedeng patagalin ‘to.”
We will take the occasion to recommend a few people who could take the job.
There’s the Letran connection:
First off, there’s Louie Alas.
He has been itching to get back to the college game that he dearly loves. Coached Letran for 14 years. After he won the title in 1999 with CSJL, he received an offer from the Manila Metrostars that was way bigger than his college contract. Here is the difference, boys and girls — he asked if he could be released from his contract except the Letran priests said no. Alas said he’d honor his Letran contract yet a week later, the Dominicans released him amicably. After leading the Metrostars to a title and a stint with Talk ’N Text in the PBA, Alas returned and led the Knights to two more titles.
Alas is used to working with not much. With the graduation of key players, there’s the tough task of seeing them defend the title. What coach has done more with less?
Former Letran Knight who won a championship under Louie Alas. NCAA MVP. PBA champion and All-Star. A thinking player. Good work ethic. Lacks experience but you have to start somewhere. How he translates his traits as a very good player into coach is anyone’s guess. Was offered the job before Aldin Ayo. Now seems to be all right with coaching his alma mater. Should he take it, he will need an experienced first assistant to guide him.
And there are those with a non-Letran pedigree:
Allan Caidic. Just coming off a stint as an assistant with La Salle. Previously coached Ginebra in the pros. Has also served as team manager so he also knows how to deal with players. High profile coach who could attract recruits. Has played for some great minds — Baby Dalupan and Norman Black. Reads the game very well. Can spot things coming even before it unfolds. It would be interesting to see him transfer that knowledge to young players. Tantalizing choice.
Mon Jose. Former La Salle Green Archer. Currently an assistant to Jason Webb in the Star Hotshots and Eric Altamirano with the NU Bulldogs. Hard worker as a player. An even harder worker as a coach. Disciplined and has bright ideas.
Josh Reyes. Currently an assistant to Nash Racela with FEU and Jong Uichico with Talk ’N Text. One of the best young coaching minds. Has worked his way up from the video coordinator to scout to teaching the dribble drive offense to Talk ’N Text, Gilas, and FEU. Let me tell you a story about Reyes when he first arrived in FEU along with Racela. Good in team psychology and is able to look at the big picture.