By John Bryan Ulanday
PAT Aquino has stepped down from his post as head coach of the National University (NU) Lady Bulldogs in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) women’s basketball tournament, ending an era of dominance and excellence highlighted by six straight titles and the longest streak in UAAP history.
Mr. Aquino said he came to the tough decision to focus on his role as also the head coach and program director of the Gilas Pilipinas women’s coach that has just captured the gold medal in the Hanoi Southeast Asian Games.
“I am officially stepping down as head coach of the NU Women’s Basketball team. After six straight years of being a champion, I know that we’re able to sustain a winning culture,” Mr. Aquino said in a statement.
“I thank NU and the management, Mr. Herbert Sy and our major supporter Dioceldo Sy for believing in me since day one,” he added, promising to still help in any capacity.
Mr. Aquino will be leaving an unparalleled legacy in NU, which he authored to a six-peat UAAP championship in 2019 before the pandemic.
Included in that dynasty is an astounding 96-game winning streak since 2014, the longest win spree in any sport of the league’s rich history.
Without Mr. Aquino from here on though, NU is still determined to extend its reign with Aris Dimaunahan taking over the program as per his confirmation to The STAR.
For Mr. Aquino, a bigger responsibility awaits him with a busy schedule ahead for the Gilas women’s U16, U17, 3×3 and 5-on-5 tournaments.
Mr. Aquino will also be more active in his deputy role with the Blackwater squad in the PBA.