UNIVERSITY of Santo Tomas faces the possibility of not seeing action in the Filoil-Flying V Preseason Premier Cup this summer as the Growling Tigers have yet to name an official head coach.
Tournament director Joey Guillermo said the league already extended an invitation for the Tigers to join the preseason tournament, but so far no confirmation has been made by the school.
“We are still waiting for them (UST),” said Guillermo.
The tournament official however, speculates the absence of a head coach is what's keeping the school from agreeing to participate in this year’s edition of the country’s premiere preseason league for college teams.
Coach Pido Jarencio recently stepped down from his post as UST mentor after seven years to take the coaching job at GlobalPort in the PBA.
“Ang take ko sa kanila is they want to play but the problem is ayaw rin nila pangunahan ‘yung head coach nila,” Guillermo said.
At present, assistant coach Estong Ballesteros is calling the shots for UST while the school continues its search for a head coach who will take the place of Jarencio, who led the Tigers to the 2006 UAAP men’s titles and successive Finals appearances the past two seasons.
Among those reportedly being considered for the job by UST are former player Gerard Francisco and current assistant coach Bong Dela Cruz.
“Everything is left hanging. Hindi rin sila makapag-desisyon,” Guillermo said.
But the tournament official did assure that UST has a slot in this year’s Filoil preseason event, with the Tigers bracketed in Group A of the 21-team meet.
“But I told them (UST) they have a slot until such time na we can wait,” said Guillermo.
UST will enter Season 77 of the UAAP without star Jeric Teng and Tata Bautista, who both played their final year with the Tigers last season.
Teng is now playing for Rain or Shine in the PBA.