Coach Enrico Villanueva? Retired PBA big man says it's possible


Posted at Sep 30 2017 08:33 PM

Recently retired PBA player Enrico Villanueva said he’s not closing the door on the possibility of becoming a coach.

Villanueva, who hung up his jersey following NLEX’s exit from the PBA Governors’ Cup, told Boyet Sison and Freddie Webb of DZMM’s "FastBreak" program that being a basketball mentor will be one of his options now that he has left active competition.

“Puwede naman siguro. I'm not closing my door on that. It's always an option,” said the 37-year-old, who has seen action for various basketball clubs, including Red Bull, Purefoods and Barangay Ginebra.

He added that he might even emulate a former mentor who played a major role in his formative years in the pros.

“If ever I'm going into coaching, alam n'yo na kung sinong gagayahin ko. Si coach Yeng (Guiao),” he said.

It was Guiao who picked the former Ateneo Blue Eagle in the first round of the 2003 PBA Draft.

The fiery coach molded him into one of the toughest big men in the PBA, one that he could use against the likes of Erik Menk, Danny Ildefonso and even Asi Taulava.

After winning the 2005-2006 PBA Fiesta Conference title for Red Bull, Villanueva moved to other teams.

Interestingly, he reunited with Guiao in NLEX where he stayed on until his last PBA game.

“I owe a lot to coach Yeng. Sa simula pa lang naihanda niya ako agad para tumagal ako sa PBA. Iyong toughness that he gave me, that he instilled in me, that's exactly what I did para tumagal ako,” Villanueva said.

He acknowledged that retiring was a tough decision as it meant leaving the sport he has been playing for more than half of his life.

“I prepared myself . . . Half a year ko na ding pinag-iisipan,” said Villanueva.

“Noong palapit na . . . noong pa-playoffs na, sabi ko these could be my last practices. Talagang nakakalungkot, pero like I said I've been thinking about it and I was ready na to retire.”

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