NCAA basketball

NCAA champion Letran, Bonnie Tan part ways

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NCAA champion Letran, Bonnie Tan part ways 

CHAMP. Bonnie Tan celebrates another title run with the Letran Knights


Deputy coach Rensy Bajar looks poised to take over Letran as Bonnie Tan bids the Knights goodbye after a three straight title romp in NCAA men's basketball

MANILA, Philippines – The winning partnership of the Letran Knights and coach Bonnie Tan comes to an end.

Tan bid Letran goodbye, ending a four-year run in Muralla highlighted by three NCAA men’s basketball championships.

“I’m grateful for the opportunities that Letran has afforded me,” Tan said on Sunday, April 23. 

“I’m deeply appreciative of how the community has welcomed me since I came on board and being considered as an honorary Letranite will always be one of the biggest achievements I could ever receive.” 

Tan looks to focus more on his PBA duties as he was officially named head coach of NorthPort after serving in an interim capacity this recent Governors’ Cup.

Deputy coach Rensy Bajar is set to replace him at the helm with the formal announcement expected this Monday, with Tan giving his stamp of approval to his longtime assistant.

“Coach Rensy has been with us during the three-peat era and I’m confident that he can sustain the winning culture that we have built with the Knights,” he said.

Tan replaced Jeff Napa in 2019, coming in at the same time when Petron took over as the main backer for the Letran men’s basketball program.

In his first year, Letran got itself back at the top of the food chain after toppling erstwhile undefeated San Beda to rule NCAA Season 95.

Tan also guided the Knights through the pandemic, garnering a perfect 12-0 sweep in NCAA Season 97, before the team overcame doubts to complete a three-peat in NCAA Season 98.

Tan amassed a 44-13 win-loss record with Letran, an impressive 77% winning rate, and also bagged three NCAA Coach of the Year plums.

In the process, he was able to help a number of Knights progress to the pro ranks, among them Jerrick Balanza, Larry Muyang, Bonbon Batiller, Jeo Ambohot, Ato Ular, and Allen Mina who are now in the PBA, as well as NCAA Season 97 Rookie MVP Rhenz Abando who is now in Korea.

“As I close this chapter, I cherish all of those who believed in what we could do for the Knights,” said Tan, who thanked San Miguel Corp. chief Ramon S. Ang and sports director Alfrancis Chua, Letran rector Fr. Clarence Victor C. Marquez, OP, vice president for academic affairs associate professor Cristina M. Castro-Cabral, PhD, and athletic director Fr. Victor Calvo, OP.

Letran will still have a formidable team this coming NCAA Season 99, with Kurt Reyson, Paolo Javillonar, and Kobe Monje all expected to pick up the cudgels in the Knights’ quest to extend their dynasty to a four-peat. –

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