Wednesday, 12 January 2011 3,229 Views / 192 Comments
IN A bold off-season move, the University of the East has decided not to renew the contract of its men’s basketball team head coach, Lawrence Chongson, the Red Warriors’ tactician the past two UAAP campaigns.
In a conversation with inboundpass, Chongson explained how the situation panned out. “The university president and marketing director/team manager, backed up by a petition with hundreds of signatures from various groups and departments in the school, have decided to get a new coach and opted not to renew my contract.
“In fairness to the school, not one negative word was written about me in the petition. It just expressed that they desperately wanted an alumnus as coach. What [struck] me was the number of signatures [gathered]. From department heads, alumni, student council, school employees, etc. Kulang na lang pati school bus drivers. And that overwhelmed me,” he said.
Chongson, who in his maiden year helped steer UE to a cinderella run that fell just a game short of the UAAP Season 72 title, maintained he doesn’t hold any grudges with the institution he served for two seasons. “I never planted one bad seed in my two years with UE and have in fact coached it with a lot of love, heart and soul. So I guess I should be alright.”
Asked if perennial Most Valuable Player candidate Paul Lee was leaving Recto as well, Chongson replied, “Only Paul Lee can speak for himself on that.” It is widely believed, however, that Lee would declare himself eligible for the 2011 PBA Draft and forego his last year of collegiate eligibility if Chongson wasn’t rehired.
The university is expected to formally announce the hiring of former Red Warrior Jerry Codiñera as head coach. Codiñera was a member of the back-to-back UAAP title teams of 1984 and 1985. He previously served as an assistant coach with the University of the Philippines.
In two seasons at the coaching helm, Chongson compiled a 19-14 win-loss record after taking over from Dindo Pumaren.