A RIFT between management and new National University coach Goldwin Monteverde over sponsorship and control of the team reportedly led to the stunning exodus of junior standouts Carl Tamayo, Gerry Abadiano, and Kevin Quiambao last Saturday.
A highly-reliable source is convinced there could be other and deeper reasons for the disagreement.
“I don’t know if sponsorship is the real reason for the rift. Puwede naman pag-usapan iyon. That is so strange. Now, if these were rival brands, mahirap nga iyon. They just have to choose one. Or iyong isa sa juniors, iyong isa sa seniors,” the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Malaya-Business Insight yesterday.
“It’s not supposed to be a tough problem. So, my guess is there are other reasons for the rift,” the source added.
The 6-foot-7 Tamayo and the 6-foot guard Abadiano, both Gilas Pilipinas Youth mainstays, moved to University of the Philippines, while the 6-foot-8 Quiambao, a center, opted to join La Salle.
The Bullpups, behind Tamayo, Abadiano, and Quiambao, and with Monteverde at the helm, bagged their second straight title last March via a 16-0 season sweep.
Tamayo was named finals MVP, while Quiambao was runner-up to Adamson High School’s Jake Figueroa in the MVP race.
Monteverde took over at the helm of the Bulldogs from Jamike Jarin last November.
A team insider said in a previous interview that Monteverde may also end up leaving the squad if and when he and management fail to patch things up.
Monteverde and his players with the Bullpups have a sponsor that is different from the sponsor of the Bulldogs and this reportedly started the disagreement. While having sponsors boost a squad financially, it should not pose a problem for NU since it is backed by the SM group.
“Sponsorships help finance the program. It’s not cheap to run a successful sports program, and schools don’t usually have the budget for this,” said the source. “So, sponsors usually finance the operations.”
The Sampaloc-based crew also lost main man Dave Ildefonso, who returned to Ateneo last January.
After winning their first crown in 60 years in 2014 behind now pros Troy Rosario, Gelo Alolino, and Glenn Khobuntin and Cameroonian slotman Alfred Aroga, the Bulldogs have not advanced to the Final Four in the last five seasons. NU wound up dead-last last year with a 2-12 card.
The likes of forward Shaun Ildefonso, older brother of Dave who chose to play his fifth and final year with the squad; guards John Lloyd Clemente and JV Gallego, and 6-foot-9 Senegalese center Issa Gaye are expected to lead the Bulldogs’ charge in the 83rd UAAP basketball tournament.