Eric Altamirano resigns as NU head coach

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 29 2016 08:24 PM | Updated as of Nov 30 2016 10:15 AM

Eric Altamirano file photo. Josh Albelda, ABS-CBN Sports

MANILA, Philippines – Two seasons after he led the Bulldogs to a historic UAAP championship, Eric Altamirano has resigned as the head coach of the National University men's basketball team.

A source confirmed to ABS-CBN News that Altamirano resigned from the school, along with his entire coaching staff, after a disappointing campaign in the UAAP Season 79 men's basketball tournament.

Vic Ycasiano, Joey Guanio, Paolo Layug, and Anton Altamirano all tendered their resignations along with the head coach last week, according to the source.

Initially touted as a potential title contender, the Bulldogs failed to even make the Final 4 in Season 79, instead finishing in fifth place, with a 5-9 win-loss record. They lost six consecutive games midway through the season, including a 25-point demolition against De La Salle University in the second round.

Altamirano coached the Bulldogs to their first UAAP title in six decades in Season 77, after they defeated Far Eastern University in three games in the Finals.

It was a remarkable run for NU, as they entered the Final 4 as the No. 4 seed and had to overcome top-seeded Ateneo de Manila University, which had a twice-to-beat edge in the semis.

They returned to the Final 4 as the fourth seed anew in Season 78, but could not replicate the Cinderella run. The Bulldogs were beaten by University of Santo Tomas in just one game in the semifinals.

NU returned with a retooled line-up in Season 79, featuring promising recruits, including transferee Matt Salem and Matthew Aquino. But an injury to stalwart big man Alfred Aroga and an eligibility issue that knocked Aquino out of the season severely hampered their campaign.

Altamirano was NU's head coach for six seasons, making the Final 4 four straight times from Season 75 to Season 78.

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