Remember when De La Salle University’s coaching staff made quite a fashion statement a few years ago?
The coaches turned heads in the Green Archers’ UAAP Season 77 debut when they showed up in green pants, with matching green necktie and white coat over white polo.
“Natatawa kami actually noon kasi naka-green sila lahat,” recalled former Green Archer Kib Montalbo in the 2OT podcast presented by SMART on Saturday.
“Kasi sina coach Allan [Caidic], coach Juno [Sauler], when they come to practice siyempre naka-basketball attire — normal lang. They don’t really wear mga colorful stuff. Ta’s pagdating sa game naka-green pants sila.”
Whose idea was it, you wonder?
According to coach Allan Caidic, who was among La Salle’s coaches then, the mastermind was none other than Ambassador Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco.
In fact, Cojuangco, a staunch supporter of DLSU, even wore that very same outfit as the coaches, and they all posed for a photograph.
“Actually, siya may idea talaga na pare-parehas kami,” said the PBA great in the podcast hosted by broadcasters Carlo Pamintuan and Magoo Marjon.
“He even made vests for us. Kasi minsan maginaw sa MOA or sa Araneta, and he has to wear a vest or jacket. So, kailangan kumpleto ang coaching staff, pare-parehas.”
For Caidic, it is just an example of how disciplined Cojuangco wanted his teams to be: with everything as organized as possible.
“Ever since naman talaga, gusto niya talaga maayos e,” said Caidic, who played for the Northern Cement national team program, a brainchild of Cojuangco.
“Ang shoes kailangan pare-parehas, ang medyas pare-parehas, kailangan naka-tuck-in kayo lahat — ganun ka-disciplined ang programa ni boss tsaka ni coach Ron [Jacobs].
“Kaya kita mo nago-overlap na rin sa coaching. Nakita mo kami naka-tie kami ng green, tsaka pants, ‘di ba? Cool,” he added, smiling.
Montalbo himself could attest to that. During his time as a Green Archer, players were all geared up from top to toe — they even wore matching socks and shoes.
“’Yun nga sabi ni coach Allan, na gusto ni Boss Danding na uniform lahat,” said Montalbo, who won two UAAP gold medals with La Salle.
“’Yung mga socks nga namin, as in we all have the same socks. May nakaka-tatak pa ‘yan na Green Archers.”
For Montalbo, that was just a testament of how much Cojuangco loved La Salle so much — as if they were all his own.
The Philippine basketball godfather passed away last Tuesday at the age of 85, but he will surely live on in the lives he touched, like those of Montalbo and Caidic.
“He really loves La Salle,” said Montalbo, whom Cojuanco personally recruited in Bacolod.
“We’re really blessed to have him as our boss.”