Ateneo de Manila suffered another major blow as long-time assistant coach Parley Tupaz stepped down shortly before the Lady Eagles left for their overseas training in preparation for the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament on February 4.
In a telephone conversation with Volleyverse, Tupaz admitted that he’s no longer connected with Ateneo, a development that is seen as an aftershock to the surprise removal of Tonyboy Liao as team manager of the Lady Eagles.
A former national team member, Tupaz joined Ateneo in 2011 under the mentorship of seasoned tactician Roger Gorayeb. The Lady Eagles were a powerhouse squad at that time with Gretchen Ho, Fille Cainglet-Cayetano, Dzi Gervacio, Jem Ferrer and a hot rookie named Alyssa Valdez were leading the charge.
But Ateneo couldn’t overpower rival De La Salle until Tai Bundit came on board in 2013.
Tupaz assisted the Thai guru as he turned things around, winning a pair of titles in 2014 and 2015 before losing the crown to the Lady Spikers in a thrilling best-of-three finals duel last year.
Tupaz said it’s time for him to go.
“Okay na din kasi medyo matagal-tagal na din naman ako. Subukan ko naman na may iba namang gawin.”
Tai in the bubble
Tupaz, a former enlisted member of the Philippine Air Force who last saw action in the 2007 Southeast Asian Games in the Thai province of Nakhon Ratchasima, also reinforced Volleyverse’s previous story that Liao is no longer the team manager of the Lady Eagles starting this year.
And with Liao’s exit, speculations are ripe that it could also be the final season of Bundit.
Tupaz refused to speculate, but hinted that Bundit might also be on his way out.
Tupaz’s absence creates a gaping hole in the Lady Eagles, who are bidding to knock the crown off the head of their bitter rival La Salle.
Valdez and Amy Ahomiro are also no longer around while Sherwin Meneses would serve as the lone deputy of Bundit in calling the shots against equally brilliant coaches like Jerry Yee of University of the Philippines, Kungfu Reyes of University of Santo Tomas, Francis Vicente of University of the East and Ramil de Jesus of La Salle.
Tupaz said he’s spending his time away from volleyball while waiting for another coaching gig in the Philippine V-League.