Five years ago, Goldwin Monteverde’s reputation in Philippine Basketball wasn’t as golden as his name would suggest.
In 2017, Monteverde’s Adamson Baby Falcons were involved in a controversy surrounding Encho Serrano’s eligibility with the team. That Season 79, from being sure-fire championship contenders who were the top team in the league, Gold’s Adamson fell to the bottom after having their first 11 wins of the season forfeited.
Baby Falcon hearts got broken, but Goldwin was not golden. The ordeal caused some pundits to tag him as controversial. It’s a tag that slowly went away as time went by.
It’s 2022 and the script has flipped for Monteverde. From facing off-court controversies with the Baby Falcons, he’s bounced back since then to go back to his winning ways. Two UAAP Juniors championships with the NU Bullpups. Countless offseason championships at the high school level. A list of former players that’s become the who’s who of the sport in this country.
Despite all these accolades, he still isn’t viewed as a top-of-mind option among casual fans when talking about elite basketball minds in Philippine Basketball. If you’re just talking about pure recall, it kinda makes sense, considering he doesn’t possess the eye-popping Mayhem (or biceps) of an Aldin Ayo, nor does his team’s execution stand out like how Charles Tiu has led the Benilde Blazers to surprise the NCAA this Season 98. At best, he’s remembered as, okay. Good. Saks lang.
But recall isn’t everything. What matters the most are the results and the work done on the basketball court. Goldwin’s been a master of doing that since day one.
It’s a seemingly, easy task, but Goldwin’s done something only a few coaches has done in recent memory: get a loaded basketball team to play up to the talent level they’re made to play in. Just ask Derrick Pumaren and the De La Salle Green Archers. If you need an example closer to the hearts of Diliman; just ask Coach Bo Perasol and the Season 82 UP Fighting Maroons.
Just because you have the most talent doesn’t mean you’re automatic locks to win the championship. There’s more to coaching than just recruitment and preaching about heart.
Puso. It’s what Coach Bo Perasol brought to the Fighting Maroons program. It’s the literal lifeblood of a fan base with phrases that are connected to the ideals of puso. But you can’t just rely on heart. Everything that you do on the court also has to make sense.
That’s what Coach Goldwin has brought to this current era of Fighting Maroons; a basketball team that simply makes sense. They aren’t over-the-top dominant, that’s an unfair expectation given the level of competition surrounding them and their tactical nature as a basketball team. What UP has become is a reliable basketball team who doesn’t play below expectations. Goldwin’s a big part of that, especially with how he uses each piece in their roster according to how the basketball gods would use them.
You will rarely hear a peep regarding UP’s rotation and choice of roles from their alumni, quite simply because, everything makes sense. Their main offensive weapons are their best playmaker JD Cagulangan in the perimeter and their most polished scorer Carl Tamayo in the post. Malick Diouf is their defensive anchor and the player who can tie loose ends together on the offensive end. Zavier Lucero fills the needed holes. The rest of the Fighting Maroons help keep that core intact on the basketball court.
Was that previous paragraph an extreme simplification? Possibly, yes. It’s warranted, I believe, especially with how fluff-less Goldwin’s whole coaching style is with the Fighting Maroons. That lack of fluff in his coaching style is an achievement in itself, considering the glitz and glamour surrounding his team off the court.
Goldwin is the type of coach who best embodies the saying, trabaho lang. To embody that in a basketball culture that’s filled with TikToks, media segments regarding things outside the court, and endless narratives being spit out by mamarus such as the authors of this website should earn him a medal in itself.
Goldwin champions his team to showcase IQ on the court while maintaining a high EQ when managing egos off of it. IQ. EQ. Utak.
Puso. The Fighting Maroons have had that ever since Season 79. That in itself wasn’t enough to get the job done.
Utak. The Fighting Maroons got this the moment Goldwin Monteverde went back home to Diliman.
Utak at Puso. With both in tow, the Fighting Maroons were able to bring home a championship last Season 84. They can bring home another one this Season 85.
But this championship shouldn’t just be about the Fighting Maroons further establishing themselves as college basketball’s undisputed ace. It’s also about Coach Goldwin Monteverde solidifying his status as a legend in Philippine amateur basketball.
He’s not just okay. He’s not just saks lang. He’s top-of-mind. He’s elite.
Goldwin is golden. This is his shot at proving that he’s an undisputed amateur basketball legend.
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