SANDY Arespacochaga is poised to take over the reins for the Batang Gilas national youth team program.
Sources closely following the situation said the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) is eyeing the longtime Ateneo Blue Eagles deputy to be the head coach for the youth squad, with the formal announcement about to be made before the week's end.
Tiebreaker Times was the first to report on the situation.
Arespacochaga is no stranger to the international game, serving as an assistant coach to Yeng Guiao for Gilas Pilipinas in the sixth window of the 2019 Fiba World Cup Asian qualifiers last February.
Aside from his job as the lead assistant for Tab Baldwin in Ateneo, he also serves as an assistant coach in TNT KaTropa for head coach Bong Ravena and team consultant Mark Dickel.
Arespacochaga looks set to succeed Josh Reyes, who led Batang Gilas to a fourth place finish in the 2018 Fiba Under-18 Asian Championship.
Asked by Spin.ph to comment on the news, Arespacochaga refused to issue any statement.
Batang Gilas team manager Andrew Teh also neither confirmed nor denied the news when Spin.ph reached out to him.
" I was informed about that plan by the SBP, but nothing's confirmed yet. I think we'll know within the week," he said in a short text message.
Batang Gilas is scheduled to participate in the 2019 Fiba Under-19 World Cup in Heraklion, Greece from June 29 to July 7, with Kai Sotto, AJ Edu, and Dalph Panopio expected to lead the charge. The Philippines is pooled in Group C together with hosts Greece, Argentina, and Russia.
The Philippines is also set to join the 2019 Fiba Under-16 Asian Championship in Beijing, China later in the year.