Allen Ricardo started off his coaching career as a volunteer assistant to Louie Alas in Letran.
Almost a decade later, Ricardo is now an NCAA champion coach with Letran. Moreover, he is now coaching Louie’s son Kieffer in Gilas Youth.
And Ricardo could not help but be nostalgic a week before Gilas Boys embarked on a journey to Surabaya for the 2023 SEABA Under-16 Championship.
“Naalala ko pa si Kieffer, he was four or five years old and kakagraduate ko lang ng college. It was a great journey with Coach Louie.”
Back in the late 2000s, Ricardo was trying to break into coaching while he was a student in Letran.
It was there that he became an understudy to Coach Louie.
After staying in Letran, he attended numerous coaching clinics, coaching amateur squads, before putting up his league, the Milcu Gotskills Challenge.
In 2022, he returned back home to Letran to coach the Squires.
“Hindi ko akalain na magkakasama kami ni Kieffer.
“Yung relationship namin dito sa Batang Gilas, very comfortable kami sa isa’t isa. He knows kung ano yung plays ko. At the same time, he is also helping his teammates para mas mapadali sa lahat,” the youthful head coach shared.
For Ricardo though, being in Gilas is a dream come true.
After all, he never expected to be part of a staff that is led by Josh Reyes and also has UAAP champion coach Allan Albano.
“Siyempre, I’m thankful and grateful for this opportunity especially yung mga coaches na kasama ko rito, sila Coach Josh Reyes, Coach Allan Albano, Rob Labagala, JB Sison, Enzo Flojo, and Boss Dean Castano, with those kind of coaches, lahat sila champion coaches,” he expressed.
“Madami akong makukuha sa kanila at sana may matulong ako dito sa Batang Gilas. May kanya-kanya kaming duties and responsibilities. Sa akin naman, kung ano ang pagawa ni Coach Josh, I’ll do it.”
Knowing that this opportunity is not given to just anyone, Ricardo plans to contribute everything he can to the players while also learning from the coaches.
“Ang gagaling nila. So, alam ko marami pa akong kailangan matutunan.”