MANILA, Philippines — A year after leaving the Far Eastern University Tamaraws, coach Bert Flores is back on the playing court.
This time, though, not on a basketball court but on a volleyball court.
A season removed from a rather forgettable campaign with the Tamaraws in UAAP Season 75, Flores has no regrets at all.
Brand new experience
“Athletic Coordinator ako ngayon and nandito pa rin naman ako (in FEU), okay naman, two years naman akong nasa Finals e,” said Flores. “E pahinga muna talaga ako.”
The amiable Flores, who steered FEU to two straight appearances in the Last Dance before stepping down last year, is the school’s Athletic Coordinator in charge of the recruitment of the varsity program of the Tamaraws.
“Manager ako dito dahil wala si Mark Molina, busy e. Dito ako na-assign, sa juniors, women’s, tumutulong ako sa kanila and sa seniors, nagre-recruit ako.”
Flores is also enjoying his experience in the Shakey’s V-League as he often sits down on the bench of the FEU Lady Tamaraws, noting that he and assistant coach Kid Santos are good friends and batchmates back in college in FEU.
“Oo naman, (If he is enjoying his V-League experience). Walang pressure e, sa UAAP mahirap e, diba pressured kang mag-champion,” added the 45-year bench tactician.
Although Flores is no longer calling the shots for the Tamaraws, he is still following the team and he likes what the present squad is playing so far in the ongoing season.
“Maganda sistema nila, yung spacing, maganda pasahan at kahit paano maayos na si RR and Terrence,” quipped Flores.
The former FEU mentor also took noticed of vastly-improved Tamaraws Roger Pogoy and Mac Belo.
“Ngayon na time nila Pogoy and Belo.”
Flores also said that the Tams’ 7-0 sweep of the first round will be a big factor in the long run for the team eyeing its first title since 2005—incidentally, the year Flores piloted the squad to the top with Arwind Santos as their main man.
“Puhunan yun e, kasi yung 7-0 puhunan na yun e. Kailangan makapuhunan ka lalo na pag dating ng second round,” uttered Flores.
V-League will toughen Lady Tams
With the UAAP volleyball wars just a few months away from now and with the Lady Tamaraws parading a revamped line-up, Flores believes the V-League will give the Morayta-based spikers the needed exposure.
“Tama ‘tong V-League na ‘to kasi kahit ‘di kami manalo dito, pero lumalaban. Exposure ‘to e,” said Flores, a member of an FEU champion team in the past that was bannered by Johnny Abarrientos and Vic Pablo, among others.
“Iba ito. Maganda ‘to kasi commercial league ito e, maganda dito is lumaban sila.”
Flores has the flair to crack jokes during interviews in his coaching days with FEU and as he headed back towards the bench of the Lady Tamaraws, he did not let the opportunity slip away without cracking a joke.
“Iba rin, ibang experience ‘to. Sports coordinator ako, lahat ng games pinapanood ko ang problema lang ayokong manood ng chess, boring e,” said Flores in jest. – Rappler.com