UAAP Juniors Champion coach open to aiding Batang Gilas

The success of the National University-Nazareth School in the recent UAAP Season 81 junior basketball tournament is expected to open new doors of opportunities for coach Goldwin Monteverde.

Goldwyn Monteverde

Goldwyn Monteverde

Monteverde, a brilliant bench strategist credited for turning NU into a top-caliber team almost overnight, welcomes the challenge.

Next stop could be an important role in the Batang Gilas program of the Samahang Basketball ng Pilipinas (SBP).

“Why not? It’s a big honor for me to serve the national team,” said Monteverde during his appearance in the 13th “Usapang Sports” by the Tabloid Organization in Philippine Sports (TOPS) at the National Press Club in Intramuros recently.

Monteverde was asked by sports editors and sportswriters about the possibility of joining the Batang Gilas program only a few days after he led the NU Bullpups to the UAAP junior division title with a two-game sweep of the favored Ateneo and Kai Sotto in the finals.

‘Yun finals (against Ateneo), mahirap talaga ang pinagdaanan ng team. But I am really happy dahil this is my first UAAP championship,” said Monteverde, considered as one of the country’s top high school basketball coaches, during the weekly forum supported by the Philippine Sports Commission and National Press Club.

Monteverde, who previously called the shots for Chiang Kai Shek and Adamson, admitted he doesn’t want to look too far ahead as far as his coaching career is concerned.

“Kung may bagong opportunity, may bagong challenge, I welcome them. Pero ngayon, gusto ko muna mag-celebrate kasama ang team,” added Monteverde, who also boasts of titles in the National Basketball Training Center (NBTC), Metro Manila Basketball League (MMBL), Tiong Lian Basketball League and even Palarong Pambansa.

The UAAP Season 81 crown, however, was the sweetest of them all.

Led by Batang Gilas standout Carl Tamayo and Kevin Quiambao, the Bullpups topped the elimination round with a 13-1 win-loss record.

They defeated No. 4 team Adamson University, 94-2, in the semis.

Ranged against defending champion Ateneo and Kai Sotto in the finals, the Bullpups turned doubters into believers with a pair of decisive victories — 70-58 and 64-53 — to bag the championship in Monteverde’s second year at the helm.

“Yun talent ng team, nandyan yan. Alam ng lahat yan. Pero yun hirap at sakripisyo ng mga players kasama kanilang mga magulang, yun ang nagpa-champion sa amin,” concluded Monteverde.