Coach Tai Bundit made a name for himself by leading the Ateneo Lady Eagles to four straight Finals appearances and consecutive women’s volleyball titles in UAAP Seasons 76 and 77. This run of excellence has elevated her players to become household names in the sport. No wonder they have utmost praises for the man who taught them the “happy, happy” and “heartstrong” mentality. Here are some of the previous and current Lady Eagles paying tribute to the man who has helped elevate their game and Philippine volleyball in general.
The black and white photo that Samonte posted injected a touch of nostalgia. As for the caption, it simply reads “Thank you Coach Tai. love u!!!!”.
The photo was taken during the Lady Eagles’ thankgiving party for Bundit. As one of the top middle blockers in the UAAP, Madayag summarized her appreciation with a caption “Thank you, Coach Tai!”
The libero’s playing days under Bundit might not have been long but it was still worthwhile. Thus, Ravena added the caption “My first year playing for Ateneo will always be a memorable one because of you. Would’ve never known what #Heartstrong really was if not for you, Coach Tai. Thank you for everything.” The Boomerang video was a nice touch as well.
The former Lady Eagle and one of Beach Volleyball Republic’s founding members served as Coach Bundit’s assistant from 2013 to 2014. As her mentor, Soriano showed her appreciation with the caption “Kob khun makmak kha, Coach Tai! You have taught us all a lot – from discipline, to happiness, to unity, to heartstrong. We wish you all the best in Thailand! You will surely be missed. – Your Lady Eagles #OBF #Heartstrong #AWVT”. The first four words are Thai for “thank you very much”.
The current Banko Perlas setter won Best Setter honors in UAAP Season 75. Using another photo taken during the Lady Eagles’ thanksgiving party for the multi-titled coach, she mentioned “Thank you, Coach @anusornbundit” as caption.
The UAAP Season 77 Finals MVP posted a throwback photo with her, Coach Bundit, and Alyssa Valdez. Her message reads: “Thank you for the trust. Thank you for pushing me to my limits. Thank you for believing in us when everyone else had written us off. Thank you for the countless hours you put in everyday to help us achieve our goals. Thank you for bringing Ateneo our first ever women’s UAAP championship and so much more, but beyond that thank you for leading us and giving us the confidence that we all needed. You will be greatly missed @anusornbundit, this isn’t goodbye but rather see you soon. I will be forever indebted to you for everything you have done for me. We love you coach. #happyunityheartstrong.”
Lazaro became the Iron Eagle with Bundit’s guidance and nurturing. Now that she has been a constant fixture of the Philippine women’s volleyball team, the former Ateneo libero reminisced her times under Coach Tai. Her caption reads: “BLOOD, SWEAT, TEARS, 2 years of twice a day training, never ending sprints around the oval at 5 in the morning, endless hours of training, everyday one-man, countless injuries, no weekends, no holidays, no days off. 1st Championship of Ateneo in UAAP Women's Volleyball, BACK2BACK Championships, 16-0 record for Season 77 +++ At the end of the day, this man gave us more than just wins and trophies. We are thankful to him because he believed in us when no one else did, and that made us believe in ourselves. We wouldn’t be where we are right now if it wasn’t for him. Maraming Salamat, coach Tai!”
Morado mentioned during the post-game interview after winning the PVL Open Conference 2018 championship that Bundit is best in finding rooms for improvement even though a player thinks that she is already at her best. That high standard did yield great results, as the PVL Open Conference 2018 Finals MVP mentioned. Her caption reads: “6 years. 4 championships. A few broken English phrases, and a whole lot of (tough) love. At the end of the day, we know we wouldn’t be where we are with you, Coach Tai.”
Last but not the least, Bundit’s best student won’t let the opportunity to honor him pass especially that the Thai mentor has been there throughout her rise to the top. Alyssa Valdez posted in her Instagram account, “Not only did you change the game of volleyball here in the PHI, but more importantly, you’ve change your players’ lives! Maraming salamat, coach @anusornbundit! #heartstrong”