Gerry Abadiano, Carl Tamayo, and Kevin Quiambao all had heavy hearts when they decided to leave National University for college.
The biggest factor was no longer having Goldwin Monteverde guiding them.
The saddest among all of them was Abadiano, a heady floor general who has been with Monteverde since he was just entering high school.
“Nag-start ako sa Sun Yat Sen and then St. Robert’s, doon ako nag-graduate ng grade six and then nakakapaglaro ako ng Palarong Pambansa, nakapaglaro ako ng Jr. NBA, and sa Palarong Pambansa,” Abadiano told The Prospects Pod, presented by SMART Sports and supported by Chris Sports.
“Sa Palarong Pambansa, doon ako nakita ni Coach Gold. Doon ako na-recruit and ayun, ‘yung dating school na hawak ni Coach Gold is Adamson pa eh. So ‘yun, inofferan ako na maglaro doon, mag-aral doon. “
If Abadiano was already a polished product when Monteverde got him, the same could not be said about twin towers Tamayo and Quiambao.
Back then, Tamayo was only a billiards player, while Quiambao was pudgy, to say the least.
“Actually kasi, nag-start ako ng basketball, zero ako eh.
“Hindi ako talaga marunong and ‘yun, nakita ko ‘yung growth ko, improvement ko nung na kay Coach Gold ako. So isip ko nun, bakit hindi ko naman ipagpatuloy kay coach na ang laki ng binago sa akin — hindi lang bilang basketball player at ‘yung pagkatao ko, [pero] paano rumespeto ng tao, paano makisama ng tao,” shared Tamayo.
“Napunta ako ng NU. Kumbaga may laban kami sa NBTC regional lang sa Cavite. Kalaban namin St. Jude, and one of the nag-sponsor nun was Freego. Nandoon si Coach Edster [Sy],” said Quiambao, on the other hand.
“Ayun, nakita niya na ako, pero hindi ko akalain na kukunin nila ako kasi ‘yung laro na ‘yun, sobrang bad game namin ng Lyceum. And blessed ako na binigyan nila ako ng opportunity para maglaro sa kanila. And ‘yun, the rest is history na.”
The Bullpups went on to rewrite history under Monteverde.
Under his watch, the Bullpups won back-to-back UAAP crowns, an unprecedented back-to-back in the NBTC National Finals, and numerous championships in the PSSBC, MMBL, and Palarong Pambansa. Monteverde also led NS-NU to gold in the 2018 and 2019 ASEAN School Games.
But for Quiambao, his most memorable moment with Monteverde happened off the court.
“Favorite memory ko ‘yung pinatakbo kami ng marami ni Coach Gold.
“‘Yun isa ‘yun kasi sobrang dami na naming tinakbo noon. Grabe kasi may game kami noon, I think against La Salle, and ‘yung defense namin walang discipline eh. Sundot dito, sundot doon, walang close out hard. And the next day sabi ni Coach Gold kung ilan ‘yung pinalusot niyo, pinashoot niyo sa harapan niyo, tatakbuhin natin,” recalled the La Salle-bound big man.
“Ayun, napakadami naming tinakbo, and nakita ko lahat ng teammate ko wala talagang sumuko and pinupush talaga nila. Doon ako na-inspire na ah, itong team na ‘to iba ‘to, kasi kahit gaano kahirap walang sumuko eh. ‘Yun ‘yung pinaka-memorable sa akin kasi ‘yung championship nandiyan na ‘yan eh, pero ‘yung nakita kong ganoon, ‘yun madadala ko ‘yung habang-buhay eh. Matuturo ko pa ‘yun sa ibang tao,” he continued.
Clearly, Monteverde was more than a coach for the trio. He was a coach, a friend, and a father.
“Sobrang importante siya sa akin kasi alam mo hindi naman ako magiging Carl Tamayo kundi dahil kala coach eh. Pinakanatutunan ko is ‘yung buhay, paano makitungo sa buhay, paano lumaban sa hirap ng buhay,” expressed Tamayo, who committed to UP.
“Parang tatay na talaga namin siya.
“Siya ang nag-build sa akin as a person, as an athlete, diba? Marami siyang natulong na hindi lang sa loob ng court, pati na rin sa labas ng court,” shared Abadiano, who is also headed to UP.