Sammy Acaylar stepped down as head coach of Sta. Lucia Realty, a shocking twist that came with only three weeks left before the 2017 Philippine Superliga (PSL) Grand Prix erupts on Oct. 21.
A seasoned mentor who also calls the shots for the men’s national team, Acaylar admitted that he has no choice but to give up his position as his jampacked schedule can no longer accommodate the training and preparation of the Lady Realtors for the season-ending conference.
Aside from the men’s national team, Acaylar is also the head coach of the men’s team of University of the East in the UAAP and the women’s team of University of Perpetual Help Dalta System in the NCAA.
But the biggest challenge is his recent appointment as athletic director of the Altas, a responsibility that requires him to be available for most part of the day that directly clashes with the 2 pm to 5 pm training of the Lady Realtors in Cainta daily.
He, in fact, is sitting on a lot of meetings as the top management grooms him to become part of the NCAA management committee, especially now that the Altas will be hosting the 94th season of the country’s oldest collegiate league next year.
Aside from that, Perpetual is also in the process of converting its gymnasium into a coliseum, something that Acaylar has to oversee as part of his job as athletic director aside from monitoring the progress of other sports in the Altas’ program like men’s basketball, track and field, chess, taekwondo and swimming.
He bade goodbye to the Lady Realtors on Sept. 26 and formally tendered his courtesy resignation to the management on Oct. 2.
Sta. Lucia, however, has yet to come up with a final decision whether to accept his resignation or not.
Acaylar recommended his trusted deputy in Michael Carino to be his successor, raising speculations that the Lady Realtors will ask him to stay and give him a consultancy or management role.
“My schedule is really tight and I don’t want to be unfair to Sta. Lucia.
That’s why I decided to tender my resignation so that the management, which has been very supportive to me, can have a free hand to choose a coach who can dedicate his time to the team.”
Despite Acaylar’s shocking resignation, Sta. Lucia is still a solid force to be reckoned with.
The Lady Realtors have rising stars in Filipino-American MJ Philips and Rebecca Rivera as well as Djanel Cheng, Janine Navarro and Lourdes Clemente.
Their imports – national team members Marisa Field and Kristen Moncks of Canada and Slavina Koleva of Bulgaria – are said to be three of the best foreign players in the league, giving the Lady Realtors a good shot at giving powerhouse teams like F2 Logistics, Petron, Foton and Cignal a serious run for their money.
Acaylar said the team would be fine even without him.
“They are still solid. I’m optimistic that they can still play at a higher level and finish better than what they had in the All-Filipino.
I still wish them well and good luck to their battle in the Grand Prix.”