SANDY Arespacochaga has tapped some of the brightest young minds to help him in his new Batang Gilas program.
Sources closely monitoring the situation bared that the soft-spoken mentor has enlisted Goldwin Monteverde, Charles Tiu, JB Sison, Ryan Betia, and Anton Altamirano to aid him in the national youth team's campaign for the 2019 Fiba Under-19 World Cup in Greece and the 2019 Fiba Under-16 Asian Championship later this year.
Monteverde is one of the most successful coaches in the high school scene, handling the reins for Chiang Kai Shek College and St. Jude in the Tiong Lian Basketball Association, and in the UAAP with Adamson and, for the past two years, with Nazareth School of National University.
He has steered the Bullpups to the UAAP Season 81 juniors' championship, while also leading them to back-to-back titles in the NBTC Division 1 National Finals.
Tiu, meanwhile, was an apprentice to Serbian mentor Rajko Toroman in the original iteration of the Smart Gilas program before joining TY Tang in St. Benilde and later on, coaching Mighty Sports.
The 30-year-old, who is the brother of former Rain or Shine guard Chris Tiu, has also helped Go for Gold claim the 2018 PBA D-League Foundation Cup.
Sison has spent the last 13 years in his alma mater of San Beda where he was a part of the Red Lions coaching staff. He was named as the head coach for the Red Cubs in 2016 and led the team to the 2017 NBTC Division 1 National Finals title, the NCAA Season 92 juniors' championship, as well as a number of MMBL titles.
The Cebuano Betia is a part of coach Chot Reyes' staff with Gilas Pilipinas and concurrently serves as an assistant coach under Olsen Racela in Far Eastern University.
Altamirano, meanwhile, served as an assistant to his father Eric with the NU Bulldogs before having stops as a deputy in Arellano and La Salle. He also is the special projects head for the NBTC.
Arespacochaga will delegate his staff for the age-specific programs, with Monteverde, Tiu, and Betia to focus on the under-19 team, while Sison and Altamirano working with the under-17 squad.