Monday, 8 September 2008 4,416 Views / 133 Comments
Ever since he burst onto the UAAP coaching scene in 2006, Pido Jarencio has always been one of my favorite coaches. In fact, heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a favorite of the UAAP press because heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s always ready with a funny ad lib for reporters.
Aside from that, I will always admire the excellent coaching he did in the championship series two years ago. There, he proved there was more to him than just a witty remark. Everyone loves a winner, but everyone loves a winner whoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s fun to talk to even more.
Which is why his actions in the UAAP press room shortly after the UST-UP game were bewildering to say the least. After beating UP and allowing the Tigers to end their season and Jervy CruzÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s UAAP career on a high note, I would have expected Pido to be in a good mood.
Early on, he was. He offered deserved props to his star center, who was weeping a few feet away. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Siya (Cruz) ang MVP. Ganoon lang kasimple iyon. Double-double every game.Ã¢â‚¬? He then said it was his hope that their paths would cross again in the future, for it had been a true honor to coach such talented a player.
I wish Pido had left it at that: a poignant final salute to his captain and best player, the primary reason UST won it all in 2006. Instead, he loused it all up by vaguely suggesting UST should have won some of the games it lost if it werenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t for some people he didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t bother to identify. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Alam nyo na kung anong sinasabi ko,Ã¢â‚¬? was as clear as he would allow himself to be, followed by a parting shot about how poorly run this yearÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s tournament was. And with that he stood up and stormed out of the press room. Upon seeing Tessa Jazmines, Business Mirror sports columnist and this yearÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s press coordinator, he quickly made it clear he wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t referring to her, before stunning everyone by slamming his palm on the door on his way out.
I am bothered by this outburst for two reasons. First off, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s conduct unbecoming of a coach, especially a champion coach. Huwag naman ganyan, Pido. Some reporters still wanted to ask a few questions and you didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t even say you were done. You just stood up and left. And whatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s with slamming your hand on the door? If you were trying to make a point, then we didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t get it.
Second, I canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t believe Coach Pido is blaming the officiating (which is what he was obviously referring to) for the TigersÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ fifth-place finish. IsnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t this the same Pido who decided not to enter his team in any preseason tournament? The same Pido who said before the season that he wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t expecting much from his injury-riddled team this year? His exact words: Ã¢â‚¬Å“Hindi ko alam kung saan kami pupulutin. Kahit nga sa kangkungan baka hindi kami umabot.Ã¢â‚¬?Ã‚Â So why get all worked up when you werenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t expecting much to begin with? It would have been much more appropriate to say how proud you were about how your boys fought in every game despite some of them playing hurt.
I agree the officiating this year has been less than stellar, to say the least, but UST is hardly the only team that has had to endure bum calls. Besides, Pido has apparently forgotten that it was also NABRO blowing the whistles when UST won it all two years ago.
And if you want to discuss questionable calls that cost a team a game, we can easily go back to UST-Adamson Round 1, when Clark Bautista was awarded a controversial game-tying three-point shot even though it was not entirely sure his feet were behind the line. Bottomline: bum calls happen, just like sh*t happens. You just have to get used to them. Did Leo Austria whine about that bad call?
Besides, can we blame the referees for PidoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s mind-boggling decision to call a timeout during the last five seconds of the DLSU-UST Round 2 game that allowed the Archers to regain their composure and set up a play? Can we blame the refs for Francis AlleraÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s astonishing decision to take a triple near the end of the UE-UST match, when the better decision would have been to pound it inside to Cruz? And didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t Jeric Fortuna also make a similar ill-advised decision during DLSU-UST Round 1? ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s three losses already that could easily have been wins, but NOT because of poor officiating.
I understand how incredibly frustrating it must have been to lose all those close games, and how doubly frustrating it must be to have to endure all these senseless calls from armchair coaches asking for his head, but Pido should have shown a little more maturity and class. As it is, the only thing his outburst has accomplished is give his detractors more ammunition.
P.S. Thanks to Danny and Raul Roa of ubelt.com for giving my column an online home for five years. I will always be grateful to you guys. And thanks to Mike Abasolo and Kim Lesaca for welcoming me to inboundpass.com.