BARANGAY Ginebra opened the new year with a bang, replacing Siot Tanquingcen with Alfrancis Chua in a coaching change aimed at bringing the best out of the Gin Kings’ talented but underperforming lineup.
According to Ginebra governor and league chairman Robert Non, Tanquingcen was informed of management’s decision on Tuesday as the league’s most popular team looks to go in another direction after a string of underwhelming performances under the former University of Santo Tomas role player.
Tanquingcen has won three PBA championships in his career but none since the 2008-2009 season. Under him, Ginebra has not reached the finals over the last four conferences.
There had been uncertainty over Tanquingcen’s status since the start of the season, and his status became even more tenuous after the Kings failed to advance past the quarterfinal stage in the Philippine Cup.
Non said Tanquingcen will be asked to slide down to assistant coach, a position he previously held under Jong Uichico. He will also receive the same compensation he got as head coach, the official added.
The official also said the team will soon announce plans for Tanquingcen following the coaching change.
"Pahiyang lang 'yan. Pero yung sweldo ni Siot, ganun pa rin. Saka may plano kami sa kanya," Non told Spin.ph.
Now that position has been given to Chua, who assumed the head-coaching position at Ginebra barely a year after coming out of a long break from coaching to join Tanquingcen’s staff as an assistant.
Chua has had a successful career in the amateur leagues and made his coaching debut in the pro league with Tanduay in 2000. The long-haired mentor’s last head-coaching stint was with Sta. Lucia in the 2006-2007 season.
Chua has yet to win a PBA championship but has built a reputation as a ‘player’s coach’ who brings the best out of his players, which should bode well for a talented Ginebra team that has underperformed under Tanquingcen.
Sources said the Ginebra job has long been offered to Chua, but he had repeatedly declined until now.