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Former SMB consultant Todd Purves nostalgic as he returned to PH coaching Macau against Alab

by Niel Victor Masoy, January 06, 2020 6:20pm

Former San Miguel Beermen coaching consultant and now Macau Wolf Warriors head coach Todd Purves made his return here in the Philippines, coaching Macau against the San Miguel Alab Pilipinas on Sunday in the ASEAN Basketball League at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

He just stirred the Wolf Warriors to a tough 98-93 win over the home team.

“Anytime you can come in in this country and get a win, it feels satisfying. It does because you know you beat a good team. I know Jimmy Alapag, I knew him as a player. And as a coach, he’s just done a hell of a job. Of course, it feels good to come out here with a win,” said Purves.

Happy as he is with the victory that improved Macau’s record to a 3-4 win-loss card, Purves couldn’t help but remember the fund memories he had here in the country when he served as a coaching consultant for the San Miguel/ Petron franchise from 2013 to 2014

“It (coaching here again) really does (bring back memories). It brings back such fond memories. It brings a smile to my face,” shared the American Purves.

While Purves wasn’t able to get a championship with the San Miguel franchise, he said his stint here in the country was still worth it because of the relationships he formed with the players he handled like Chris Ross, Chris Lutz, Marcio Lassiter, Arwind Santos, and June Mar Fajardo.

“I don’t know that I look back on it in terms of coaching or in terms in my time here in the Philippines with one specific memory. It was the relationships,” remarked Purves.

“I look back and think so fondly on my relationships with players like Chris Ross, like June Mar Fajardo, Arwind Santos, Marcio Lassiter, Chris Lutz. These are guys that I love being around. Guys that I will appreciate forever because of the effort they gave me. 

“I appreciate more the relationships to those players and I’m sure some of those names ring a bell to you guys. Love working with them. It’s not only a win or a loss that feels most special. It’s those relationships that really do to be honest.”

Of course, the San Miguel core of Fajardo, Santos, Lassiter, and Ross went on to build a dynasty in the PBA, winning multiple championships after Purves’ departure.

Despite those players winning it all without him, Purves is proud of what his former wards has accomplished. He also sang praises to San Miguel head coach Leo Austria.

“They sure did (become a dynasty) and I couldn’t be more proud of them,” said Purves.

"Leo Austria has done an unbelievable job in the San Miguel Beermen. Those players have responded well. I’m just so proud and happy for them for all their success.”

And while he wasn’t able to get any trophies in his stint in the Philippine Basketball Association, Purves said that coaching there and in this basketball-loving country in general, made him a better coach.

“I became a better coach because I coach here in the Philippines. There’s so many people who enjoy basketball. They’ll question everything you do which makes you question yourself to make sure you’re making the right decisions. I’m recalling the times in MOA (Mall of Asia Arena), in Ynares, and other big games that we play here and I coach in here that were really special.”

Purves also tipped his hat off to Philippine basketball and the country’s passion for the sport. 

I give ultimate respect for Filipino basketball. Some of you guys may know, I coach here for a while as well. I understand the passion of the fans, how hard these guys play. It’s just real appreciation for the way Filipinos approach the game of basketball."

“It’s great to see some familiar faces. Again, I have so much respect for basketball, to the coaches and players here more than I could ever expressed in words.”

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