THE athletes were spared, but not the coaches and staff.
As part of its belt-tightening measures due to the financial repercussions and uncertainties brought about by the deadly COVID-19 pandemic, College of St. Benilde has laid off the coaches and staff of its varsity teams, including Blazers tactician TY Tang.
“(I was) laid off. Is furlough the correct term? Real tough times we are in,” Tang told Malaya-Business Insight yesterday.
“I understand the decision of the school. The scholarships of the boys are intact,” he added, citing the silver lining in the school’s decision.
CSB athletic director Stephen Fernandez said last June 24 that the school will retain its close to 280 athletic scholars in 17 sports for the next school year.
The NCAA is eyeing to launch its 96th season early next year, with only the mandatory sports of basketball, volleyball, swimming, and track and field in the calendar, provided the health risks posed by the coronavirus subsides.
Online chess has been added to the league calendar, while esports will most likely be included.
Fil-Chinese strategist Jerry Yee of the CSB women’s volleyball squad and men’s counterpart Arnold Laniog were among those who were also laid off.
If things return to normal, a big if, they are among the coaches likely to be hired back.
Tang, a former pro league playmaker who played eight seasons with Rain or Shine, said he does not have an idea yet if he will be replaced or what will happen to the team.
“Sorry, I was not in the meeting, so I don’t know much of the details,” he explained.
CSB wound up with a 9-9 card, good for fifth, in the last NCAA cage wars.
The Taft-based five lost 6-foot-7 Cameroonian big man Clement Leutcheu, guard Yankie Haruna, forward Edward Dixon, and guard Carlo Young due to graduation.
Fil-Am wingman Justin Gutang, and guards Unique Naboa, Robi Nayve, and Prince Carlos are all expected to return and lead CSB’s charge.
The Blazers last advanced to the Final Four in 2002 and are bidding to end a 21-year title drought. They last won the crown in 2000 behind the likes of former pros Sunday Salvacion and Jondan Salvador, and Al Magpayo.