Never give up: Nes Pamilar gives volleyball one more chance

In his celebrated coaching career, everything Nes Pamilar touches turns into gold.

From making Letran a dominant team in the NCAA, winning a gold for FEU in the UAAP, and registering a historic 16-0 run for Cagayan Valley in the Shakey’s V-League, there is no denying that the former national team coach is one of the most brilliant mentors in the PH volleyball scene today.

What is polarizing, however, is how the harmonious relationships he started with the institutions and the management teams always end up in a sour note, tainting the many good campaigns he has achieved over the years.

“Siguro parang malas ako sa mga nakakasama ko,” Pamilar told FOX Sports with a shrug.

After winning multiple titles for Letran, the coach was tapped to also head FEU’s women’s volleyball team but this did not sit well with his Intramuros-based bosses as it eventually led for the two parties to part ways.

A couple of years later, Pamilar, who handed FEU its 29th UAAP title back in Season 70, found himself in hot water anew when the Morayta squad decided to switch coaches and shake things up as the competition got stiffer.

On the many mishaps he has faced over the years, he recalls, “Tinatanong ko rin minsan, ‘Ano ba, may mali ba ako? May problema ba kung paano ako makisama?’”

“Pati nga asawa ko tinanong ko, ‘Ano ba ang mali sa akin?’ Ang sagot sa akin, ‘Siguro masyado ka lang mapagbigay sa kasama mo.’ Wala akong swerte sa madaling salita,” he added.

Even bad luck seemed to come in threes for Pamilar as another challenge came his way when the mighty Lady Rising Suns was disbanded all of a sudden due to an issue with the management which Pamilar declined to give details about due to the sensitivity of the matter.

Down but certainly not defeated, Pamilar shares, “‘Yung experience sa FEU at sa Cagayan, mabigat ‘yan. Ako pa ang natakbuhan nung huli (sa Cagayan). Sabi ko nga, medyo marami akong nakasama na minalas ako.”

While the latest blow could push others to just quit coaching and try other things, it was a pleasant surprise when Pamilar made a resurgence in 2016 to give volleyball another try by leading expansion team Laoag in the 13th Shakey’s V-League Open Conference.

Some of his longtime players like Wenneth Eulalio and Chie Saet reunited with him while UAAP stars Jema Galanza and Mylene Paat also joined the fold.

“Marami naman akong ibang ginagawa pero ewan ko, pag tinawag ako ulit para mag coach, babalik at babalik ako,” he said. “Passion eh. Volleyball passion natin ‘yan. Simula naman high school naglalaro na ako. Pampa-relax ko din ito.”

The truth of the matter is, Pamilar and his family can and will survive even if he decided to quit the sport altogether and just focus on his other hobby which is cycling.

But just like true love, volleyball is a calling that even the fierce coach just cannot say no to.

“Pwede naman kung tutuusin, pwede namang hindi na ako mag volleyball na kasi mabubuhay naman ako,” shared the FEU alumnus matter-of-factly.

“Ang totoo nyan nag divert na ako eh. Tinuon ko na atensyon ko sa cycling nung wala akong kino-coach,” he added. “Kaya lang nung tinawag ako ulit, sige nga. Magko-coach ako ulit. Susubukan ko ulit para makita ko ulit kung ano na ang volleyball. Nakakagaan ito sa katawan ko eh. Nakakabata.”

In the hands of Pamilar right now are not the biggest of stars but a group of athletes full of potential who, with continued guidance and training, could one day be another powerhouse club team who can shake things up in the rankings.

And if the passion the coach has for the sport could rub off in his wards within the next few weeks, the possibilities are endless as Pamilar weaves his magic anew into the Power Smashers.

But is a return in the collegiate ranks on the horizon for the multi-titled coach?

“May tawag pero hindi ako ‘yung tipo ng coach na sunggab lang ng sunggab eh. Kailangan kong alamin kung ano ang mga nangyari,” he closed. — By Mac Dionisio