Hapee reunion? Junel Baculi eyed for coaching job as Hapee takes over NLEX's D-League team
Junel Baculi led Hapee to a number of championships in the defunct PBL. Jerome Ascano

NOW that it has been given the green light by the PBA to take over NLEX's franchise in the D-League, the next order of business for Hapee Toothpaste is to find a new coach.

The Lamoiyan Corporation is set to make its return to basketball by continuing the Road Warriors' school-based partnership with the San Beda Red Lions, assuring Hapee of a competitive lineup. 

“Yes, we are now talking to San Beda and the management of NLEX is helping us form a team,” said Bernard Yang, head of basketball operations of Hapee.

[See Hapee days here again as Cecilio Pedro team takes over NLEX's D-League franchise]

NLEX's coach in the D-League, Boyet Fernandez, is set to call the shots in the Road Warriors' PBA debut after his stint with San Beda in the NCAA, prompting Hapee management to start the search for a new coach.

“Right now, naghahanap na talaga kami ng coach. May mga list na kaming tinitignan,” said the soft-spoken Yang.

Yang did not deny that Junel Baculi, the coach who gave Hapee a number of championships in the defunct PBL, is very much high on their list.

“Yes, kasama si Junel sa mga nasa listahan namin. Isa siya sa mga candidates,” said Yang, pointing out that Hapee's past coaches like Louie Alas (Alaska), Egay Macaraya (CEU), Jun Noel (University of San Jose-Recoletos, Cebu) and Gee Abanilla (San Miguel) are now committed to other teams.

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