Coach Patrick Aquino will be away from home this Christmas season.
Aquino, 49, left the country last December 18 and will be back come February 1.
The long-time program director for Gilas Women’s did not bring his unico hijo Basti along because of his classes in Xavier School.
Still it is bittersweet for Aquino.
“Siyempre masaya kasi I’ll get to visit some relatives and, at the same time, baka may makita tayo na pamasko sa Pasko,” quipped Aquino, referring to Filipino-Americans he could discover.
“At the same time, I won’t get to spend Christmas with my family there which is nakakalungkot din.”
For the next two months, Aquino will go door-to-door, visiting prospects and their families about the possibility of representing the Philippines in international competitions. On the radar are Vanessa De Jesus, Mei-Loni Henson, Ella Fajardo, and Faith Curry.
Slated in 2021 are the Southeast Asian Games, FIBA 3X3 World Cups, among others.
Some of the States Aquino plans to go to are New Jersey, Washington, and California.
Fil-Am Nation Select is also organizing a couple of combines for prospects.
“We actually would be setting up a combine sometime in January in Los Angeles as well as in Chicago,” Fil-Am Nation founder Cris Gopez bared on an episode of So She Did! presented by SMART Sports.
“Our hope is for them to hopefully navigate a lot of these top athletes to possibly get their paperwork taken care of if we can do that that definitely puts us in a better situation.”
Besides identifying talent, Aquino has also booked himself in a handful of coaching clinics and camps.
“There are also a lot of clinics and camps that I’d like to attend just to observe and see how things are done here,” said the NU Lady Bulldogs head coach.
Definitely, the holidays won’t stop Aquino from grinding.