September 22, 2005

Curtain call

Eksaktong isang linggo nang nakakaraan ay ginanap sa University of Makati ang elimination round ng Inter-Collegiate Finance Competition. Dalawang sunod na taon nang lumalaban sa finals ang FEU kaya medyo mataas ang expectations. Pinaghandaan namin ito nang maaga, at ilang buwan rin ang preparation.

At least fourteen groups ang didiretso sa finals na gaganapin next week. Nang matapos ang elimination round, pangwalo kami sa overall standing. Pero di pa rin kami nakalusot sa finals, dahil kami ay number three lamang sa aming cluster, at ayon sa rules, top two per cluster lang ang didiretso (seven clusters x two finalists each kaya fourteen finalists). Wala naman kaming magagawa, yun ang rules ng contest.

Di ko matiis ang lungkot na nakita ko sa mukha ng aming mga contestants. Totoo na sila naman ang lumaban at sumagot, hindi ako, pero alam ko kasi na ako ang may kasalanan kung bakit di kami nakaabot sa finals. Una, hindi ko napansin sa guidelines na may current events pala sa coverage ng questions. Ikalawa, hindi ko naituro sa kanila yung foreign exchange transactions, e naalala ko na dun rin pala kami nagkaroon ng pagkukulang nung nakaraang taon. It was something I could have addressed, and I guess all I can just say right now is that I am really really sorry for the oversight.

Isang linggo na akong nagre-reflect tungkol dito sa pagko-coach na ito, na magtatatlong taon ko nang ginagawa para sa FEU. I was part of FEU-IABF's "rebuilding team," the ones who started to take the prestigious national competitions seriously, and I guess we were successful in putting FEU back into the public eye, so to speak. However, while we always come close to the top, we can not seem to get over the hump in the competitions that I personally handle, i.e. ICFC and ACPACI. Mukhang mayroon pang kulang.

I guess I am the coach FEU needed to find and prepare the road they need to tread on, but not the coach they would need to finally lead them to the "promised land." Parang kuwentong Detroit Pistons yan e. It was coach Rick Carlisle who assembled and resurrected the team that would make the Pistons serious contenders in the NBA, but they needed another coach - Larry Brown - to make them champions. I could never lead FEU to the "promised land" because I lack one essential requirement - I have never been to the "promised land." What FEU needs is someone who has been there. So it's the right time, I guess, for me to step down and to finally find the coach that can lead them there.

To Irene, Tere, Ramon, Rizal and Ryan - it was a pleasure working with you. I could never have asked for more commitment, and you have given the so-called "better schools" one hell of a fight. Pasensya na nagkamali ng instruction si coach. I hope that even though we were not able to get "up there," you have learned the discipline, teamwork and confidence that would lead you to success in the future. Thank you.

As for me...it's time to move on.

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