It seems like it was just yesterday when social media was flooded with celebratory news on the historic triumph of the UP Fighting Maroons in the UAAP men’s basketball championships. It was the win of a decade and is certainly one for the books as the Fighting Maroons, 36 years without a title, were able to defy all odds and propel themselves to victory– and this was all made possible through the brains and heart of their head coach, Goldwin Monteverde.
The same goes for the Letran Knights who also clinched the winning title in Season 97 of the NCAA in what would be a back-to-back championship win for them, thanks to their coach, Bonnie Tan.
In episode 6 of season 2 of Chinese by Blood, Filipino by Heart, CHiNOY TV gets up close and personal with Coach Goldwin and Coach Bonnie, finding out more about their Chinoy roots and how their winning faith enabled the momentous win of the Fighting Maroons and the Letran Knights.
Here are what viewers took away from their inspiring story:
Always be on the lookout for new opportunities
Coach Goldwin did not start out immediately as the head coach of the UP Fighting Maroons. To reach the top of the mountain, one has to seize every opportunity to go higher before reaching the summit and this is what Coach Goldwin did.
During his lengthy 32-year career as a basketball coach, he first started out as a coach to Chinese school basketball teams such as Chiang Kai Shek and St. Jude Catholic School before going up the ranks and being invited to coach in the collegiate level.
It was after bringing two UAAP high school championships with the NU Bullpups that he was finally tapped and asked to coach the UP basketball team. In 2021, Coach Goldwin was named the head coach of the Fighting Maroons.
“It’s a dream come true for me to be able to coach UP Men’s basketball team sakin kasi it’s ano eh, matagal ko na syang pangarap since I started coaching. To be blessed and to be given a chance to coach a prestigious university like UP, for me I feel so honored to be able to coach,” he shared.
Keeping in mind the journey of Coach Goldwin, netizen Jowana Mozo shared her learning from the story: “From what Coach Goldwin and Coach Bonnie have gone through, I’ve learned that hard work and perseverance pay off. It taught me a lot that when you want to be successful in life, never ever give up. Because one day, you will harvest the fruit of your own labor”.
Keep the fighting spirit alive
During Season 81 of the UAAP last 2018, the UP Fighting Maroons reached the finals round, which they last reached in 1986. However, it was not yet time for their picture perfect finish as they lost to the Ateneo Blue Eagles.
Despite this, Coach Goldwin led the team and kept the fighting spirit ablaze in the team until they once again faced the champion rival Blue Eagles in the 2022 UAAP Season 84.
In what was known as ‘The Battle of Katipunan’, Coach Gold and the Fighting Maroons had to face a make or break game in the fourth quarter of the championship.
Trailing by five points with only a few minutes to spare, the team still kept Coach Gold’s “never say die” attitude in mind and made a historic 3-point play that sealed the deal and earned them the title as the UAAP Season 84 men’s basketball champions.
“We managed to win that game so you know habang nangyayari, I have that feeling inside me na kaya pa to, hindi kami susuko. We would just keep on doing what we’re doing then eventually we were fortunate na to win that game,” he said.
To date, Coach Gold is the only coach who has a winning record against seasoned UAAP Ateneo Blue Eagles and Gilas Pilipinas mentor, Coach Tab Baldwin.
Netizen Eddeli Bungay is greatly inspired by this story and shared in the comments section that “Coach Goldwin and Coach Bonnie inspired [me] to never give up in whatever passion you have. In every game of life, it is not always a win but also a loss. The most important thing is that you never give up and continue to be the best that you can be” she wrote.
Give your all in everything you do
Do not give anything less than 100% in everything that you do, especially when it comes to your passions in life. For Coach Bonnie, this was one of his constant reminders to his team.
“I always remind my players naman parati to play every game like a championship game, na parang sabihin nating last game na nila yun,” Coach Bonnie shared. Through this, he is able to empower his players to give it their all, eventually leading to their NCAA championship.
Keep yourself grounded and humble
Winning against 3-time champion Ateneo Blue Eagles and gaining a win against Coach Tab Baldwin are gleaming points in the career of Coach Goldwin but never did he let these achievements take his feet off the ground.
“Coaching in the UAAP, sa totoo lang, you’re coaching against great minds, great coaches. While competing with them, you’ll be learning a lot of things also. For me, para mag learn ka, kailangan talaga maging open ka sa lahat ng bagay,” he shared.
The same goes for Coach Bonnie who highlights the importance of every member of the team and not just the players. “I believe in involving my staff, not just the players. Kahit sa mga ball boys, iniinvolve ko sila, kinakausap ko sila. [I do whatever] it takes everyone to develop a willing attitude,” he said.
It is truly a time to celebrate for the Chinoy community as it was two Chinoy coaches, Coach Gold and Coach Bonnie, who were able to lead their teams to the championships. This is a reminder of the capabilities and potential of every Chinoy to succeed in their respective fields through the values and traits they gained from the Chinoy roots and upbringing.