13 August 2015

Ironcoach On His Stint With The UE Squad

UE Coach Lawrence Chongson
After the initial release of excerpts from the posts of coach Lawrence Chongson aka Ironcoach, this blog received several request to come up with more similar feature articles.

Coach Chongson's take on Danny Ildefonso's unrealized contract with Tanduay was one of this site's most read articles. However, that issue is just one of the many things that the current coach of Tanduay in the PBA D-League is familiar with.

Due to several questions from several of his followers in the popular message board community Pinoy Exchange, the charismatic and outspoken mentor also gave everyone a few things to ponder regarding his basketball background.

As one of the foundation of the league during the early years of Filipino-American player invasion, coach Chongson was asked who among was his greatest influence and what pattern of plays does he usually adopt in offense and defense.
"I started as a staff for Tanduay in the PBA season 2000-2001, while also doubling as an assistant coach for UE, and a big part of my job description was to take then Warriors rookie James Yap under my wings.

My 1st head coaching break came when I was hired by Mr. Tim Orbos to handle the Pangasinan Waves in the MBA where I had Romel Adducul, Kalani Ferreria & Chris Clay as that team's cornerstones.

As far as influences in my coaching style is concerned, I believe, just like what Hall of Fame coach Tommy Manotoc had written in an article sa Inquirer some years ago ... that I have brought in a style "entirely my own".

You can say that I'm a practical coach. I based everything on: 1) the materials or personnel that I have 2) the timeframe for preparations 3) based sa strengths and weaknesses ng players.

The key had always been finding out my team's strength and weaknesses at ganon din ng makakalaban namin.

I acquired additional knowledge naman sa mga practice drills on my regular coaches clinics in the US, particularly sa Duke University, University of North Carolina at sa Stanford … just to keep abreast sa mga makabagong drills.

It has been said that I’m run and gun coach but I do believe that I have also been able to draw up some of the more effective half-court set patterns in basketball today especially dun sa mga situational, which I would like to believe is one of my strengths."
Coach Chongson was also asked on his relationship with former UE Warriors superstars like James Yap, Paul Artadi and Ronald Tubid.
"They were all nice kids then and till now, James never forgets to invite me to his birthday parties or kung may ino-inaugurate siyang mga bagong businesses.

Si Paul Artadi naman meron kaming dalawa na practice na we meet up every December 24 yearly from mga 8 to 11pm lang … a few beers, konting masasarap na pulutan, exchange gifts kaming dalawa lang … before heading off to celebrate Christmas Eves with our respective families.

Another one of my boy is Paulo Hubalde. We still keep in touch every now and then.

Si Tubid mas hindi ko masyado nakaka-salimuha pero malalim din ang pinagsamahan namin ni Ronald.

Then the other guys from that era of Warriors. Jhayson Alminario and Arnold Booker have been based in Dubai for a long time na. Jamil Shular, Aldwyn Manubag, Adrian Ronquillo, RJ Masbang, JR Retaga, Charles Tan. Those were memorable times."
Before he left the topic on UE, coach Chongson was asked about his thoughts in the current preparation of the national basketball team. He also expressed his sentiments on the issues raised by some coaches that "continuity" is the key to the success of the team and this includes the stint of their coach.
"Alam mo sir, mahirap mag-comment dyan eh. Una sa lahat, talagang may sariling kultura na tayo sa basketball. It had already evolved into what it is today at malalalim na ang ugat.

Mapa-fans, mapa-Pexers, mapa-players, mapa-team owners ... what more mapa-coach.

Of course, since nag-7th place nga tayo (at napa-ulat na ito raw ang worst finish ng Pinas sa Asiad) im sure marami ang hindi matutuwa dun sa nangyari.

And dating back to the FIBA World, marami-rami nga tayong mga "heartbreaking losses" na pinagdaanan.

Dun sa pagpalit o pag-retain ng National coach, hindi ba't si Mr. Pangilinan lang ang tanging may say dyan?

After all, aside from being the SBP president, siya lang din ang tanging nagba-bankroll ng Project Gilas so siguro nga siya lang ang masusunod sa Philippine National Basketball Team.

Now going back to "my thoughts"... hmm ... wala ako sa stature nina Tim Cone, Yeng Guiao ... and/or Mon Fernandez ha ... pero may tama talaga silang tatlo.

Yung continuity ng Gilas program, yung pagiging high-profile ni coach Chot (or lack ng high-profile coach na pamalit), yung schedules, yung mga conflicts ... pero sa mga hinaing ni Ginoong Fernandez, may tama rin eh.

Its really a tough call. But it occurred to me also na since affected much rin lang ang taong-bayan ... bakit hindi nalang idaan yan sa isang referendum?

Pero siguro malabo rin talaga na mangyari yan kasi nga yang Pambansang koponan ng Pilipinas ... may team owner."

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