Preparing for the future: Joe Lipa speaks – An Inboundpass.com exclusive

12 09 2007

As I entered the UP College of Human Kinetics Gym for an interview with UP Head Coach Joe Lipa, I can’t help but notice his usual demeanor on the court. In spite of the blowout losses, Lipa continues to howl instructions to the players, correcting their mistakes, commending good plays. Basically, he was doing what he does best: coaching.

After practice, we sat outside the gym to talk about recent developments in UP basketball. I finished my first question about UP’s current record of 0-13 when he immediately answered, as if ready to take the blame, “Yes we are losing, and losing bad. But this doesn’t mean that we are not preparing for the years to come. You see, we formed a team that should be competitive in the years to come, and by 2011 hopefully this team is still intact to go all the way. But right now, this team is simply young”. He adds “we are two to three recruits away from being a very strong team”.

When asked what his plans were at the start of the season, Lipa said “I wanted the boys to be all-around players. Everybody should be able to bring the ball down; everybody should be able to shoot from the perimeter. Everybody should be able to play 2-3 positions. I wanted everybody, including the big men to run. I could have easily said only Migs (de Asis) and Martin (Reyes) are allowed to shoot, but I wanted everybody to expand their game”.

For this UAAP season, time was not in UP’s favor. “As June and the UAAP season drew closer, our practices were slowed down by injuries and other factors. Mike Gamboa was injured, and we were waiting for Agbayani to get adjusted, him coming from an ACL injury. Soc Rivera and Julius Wong came in late. Mike was designated to be our starting point guard but had limited practice. Then Magi Sison got injured early in the season. With Magi’s injury, we were forced to make adjustments, and it really affected our game plan”.

Lipa adds “I take full responsibility to what happened this season. I was the one who got these good players. And I offer no excuses to those outraged by this”.

Taking the cue, I asked about reports on his resignation and on those maligning him. The coach said “I was thinking of resigning. But when I consulted my staff, they said that I should stay put and let the UP authorities decide on what to do. As for me, if given the chance to continue, I will help build a strong team for the future”. And as for those maligning him, all he has to say is “It’s really hard to defend a losing record, and a 0-13 record at that. But I hope they see the bigger picture”.

I offered one argument suggested by some quarters, that his basketball knowledge and philosophy are outdated; he said “that is precisely why I want my players to be all-around players. Look at the international game, even big men bring the ball down and shoot the 3. Just look at Greece and Argentina. I’ve been espousing this philosophy for a long time now. My former players know this”.

Asked for some parting words, Lipa states “I am doing this with only UP in mind. I want to help build a foundation for the future. As for resigning, that is out of the picture. And I would like to thank all those who supported the team through thick and thin”.

Well, it seems that Coach Joe Lipa is indeed preparing for whatever lies ahead. After the interview, he told me that he’s ready for whatever happens to him after Saturday. Speaking in low voiced, philosophical manner, he turned to me and said “Ganyan talaga ang buhay, Kim” as he took a puff from his cigarette.

I just hope the UP community knows what they’re doing.

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9 responses

12 09 2007
whamos

Yup. I believe UP will be a tough team to reckon with in 2-3 years time. For me, I think what they need are the ff:

1. A couple of wide-bodied tall men that will pound the inside.
2. Migs de Asis and Martin Reyes trying different moves (look at JV Casio then and now).
3. Better defense from Mike Gamboa.
4. All the pre-season and post-season tournaments they can join to enhance their game and teamwork.

12 09 2007
Mike Abasolo

Sports and Politics dont mix. The UP Alumni NEED NOT be reminded of this. They are from “UP”. They should know this. If they DO NOT understand – patience is a virtue or they have to see the bigger picture – these old sayings of successful teams, i believe they should think things over before they judge.

13 09 2007
claudette

NO ONE CAN PUT A GOOD MAN DOWN. UP is blessed to have Coach JOe Lipa,not because they’re not winning games and automatically we’ll judge him outright. It takes time for a team to rebuild and play together.Give Coach a chance.

13 09 2007
josef ramos

SMOKIN JOE is a legendary coach no one can do that to a legend…

I former Adamson coach Luigi Trillo was given a chance to stay for five years with his team not entering the final four, why not give Joe another chance…

If you remember, Adamson was 0-28 when Trillo coached his first two years in UAAP.

I’m sure Joe could pull up more wins next season…

There’s a second chance for everything…

13 09 2007
josef ramos

The real Josef Ramos speaks:

SMOKIN JOE is a legendary coach no one can do that to a legend…

If former Adamson coach Luigi Trillo was given a chance to stay for five years with his team not entering the final four, why not give Joe another chance…

If you remember, Adamson was 0-28 when Trillo coached his first two years in UAAP.

I’m sure Joe could pull up more wins next season…

There’s a second chance for everything…

17 09 2007
Tom Ong

Dear Kim,

Thanks for this article. I admire Joe Lipa even UP had a dismal performance this season, with 0-14 win loss record.

Everyteam has a chance to rebuild and UP is one to make this team great again.

I do hope that this brought a good lesson to the Maroons young player. To bear in their young minds the meaning of this 0-14 record, to become competitive the next time.

Again, good luck to UP, cheers coming from a UST fans.

Best regards,

Tom Ong

20 09 2007
The Green Mind

Kim,

Though we all know that politics and sports hould not mix, it has become a way of life in the Philippines. Look at what happened to the national team. It was politics that got us suspended from international competition.

Dont think that this only happens to teams like UP who have had a bad year. Koy Banal was let go by San Beda the year after he steered them to a championship after a long title drought. He also lost his coaching job after steering FEU to a championship.

Coach Franz Pumaren has had his cown share of people asking for his head on a silver platter even if he has steered La Salle to a very good basketball program.

24 09 2007
wye

Personally, I do feel that UP needs to be steered to a totally new direction after going 0-14. Not that we expected them to reach the final 4 but they were just horrible the whole season. I remember watching (up to the 2nd quarter at least) at least 7 blowouts..atrocious. Not an excuse that they are mostly made up of rookies and sophies..take a look at FEU.

At any rate, I am not bringing down coach Lipa..he is already a legend and nothing can bring down that status of his.

A few years back, I could not believe Adamson stuck with Trillo..no way could UP make the same mistake. Although coach Luigi recruited well..he just could not guide them to the playoffs. A coaching change (to Austria) got them there. UP needs the same.

Now that it is official that coach Joe will not be returning next season..good luck to UP in looking for a new coach and good luck to coach Lipa wherever he ends up next.

24 09 2007
stewie

“Personally, I do feel that UP needs to be steered to a totally new direction after going 0-14”

Siyempre, alangan naman i-steer mo sa same direction.

“At any rate, I am not bringing down coach Lipa..he is already a legend and nothing can bring down that status of his.”

You idiot! Joe Lipa’s handling of the UP basketball team brought his status down.

“…Although coach Luigi recruited well..he just could not guide them to the playoffs. A coaching change (to Austria) got them there. UP needs the same.”

Of course they need to change the coach and staff. That’s a given in any team. Kahit hindi mo pa gawin example ang Adamson.

wye, your comments suck!

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