MANILA, Philippines – Incoming Ateneo Blue Eagles head coach Bo Perasol admitted he is in a “tricky situation” as he is wondering how to deal with the falling out between the university and their top patron, businessman Manny V. Pangilinan.
Perasol was brought in to the Ateneo by the Pangilinan group to replace multi-titled head coach Norman Black, who is set to leave the UAAP at the end of the season to become the new coach of the Pangilinan-owned Talk 'N Text in the PBA.
But after the much publicized falling out between Pangilinan and the Ateneo, Perasol admitted to Joaquin Henson of the Philippine Star that he is in a dilemma.
“I signed a contract with (Ateneo president) Fr. Jett (Villarin) to coach, and it’s up to the 2015 season,” Perasol told Henson. “But with the disengagement of Mr. MVP from Ateneo, I really don’t know what to do.”
“My initial inclination is to let go, because it was the MVP group that convinced me to sign with Ateneo in the first place. But unlike coach Norman, my contract is with Ateneo, not the MVP group,” he explained.
“I don’t want to go into legalities. I just want to be fair to both the MVP group and to Ateneo.”
Perasol said that he is currently mired in a “tricky situation,” especially as he gave up a job in the PBA to take on the Ateneo head coaching duties.
“When I heard of Mr. MVP disengaging from Ateneo, I asked myself, should I leave, too? Where am I going? My mental set-up is without the MVP group’s invitation, I wouldn't have gotten this job with Ateneo,” he told Henson.
“But I’ve signed a contract with Ateneo so in that sense, there is no choice,” Perasol added.
Perasol told Henson that he “never expected to be collateral damage” in the MVP-Ateneo split and hopes to resolve the issues when he meets with Villarin in the next two weeks.
Right now, he is in a “wait-and-see situation.”
“After meeting with Fr. Jett, I’ll take some time to think things over. It remains to be seen how this will end,” he said.
“I don’t want Ateneo to think that all of a sudden, I am changing my mind. I just need to resolve some issues before coming to a conclusion,” Perasol added.
Pangilinan withdrew his support from the Ateneo after clashing with the university on certain issues, including mining and the Reproductive Health bill.
Black, who has led the Blue Eagles to four consecutive UAAP championships, nearly resigned from his post in the wake of Pangilinan’s disengagement, but was allowed by the businessman to remain as head coach until the end of the season.
The Blue Eagles are gunning for their fifth straight UAAP title against the University of Sto. Tomas Growling Tigers, with Game 1 of the Finals set on October 6 at the Mall of Asia Arena.