KIA is not about to end the year without a big bang.
Chris Gavina resigned as coach of the Picanto on Saturday, marking the latest in a series of controversial developments that hounded the franchise in the new PBA season.
Team manager Joe Lipa confirmed Gavina’s resignation to SPIN.ph.
Lead deputy Ricky Dandan will take over as the team's new head coach, with Gavina concentrating instead on the production and marketing of his IMPAKT power drink.
"I admire coach Chris both as a coach and person. He really acted professionaly during the time he was here with the team," said Lipa.
Gavina held his last practice with the Picanto also on Saturday, after which he officially announced before the team that he's stepping down from his post.
Dandan formally takes over as head coach when the ballclub resumes its practice on January 2.
The coaching change came days after reports surfaced about the ongoing talks of Phoenix buying a certain percentage of the Columbia Autocar Corporation, which owns the PBA franchise.
Earlier, KIA also stirred the hornet's nest after agreeing to send the rights to top rookie Christian Standhardinger in exchange for role players Jay-R Reyes, Ronald Tubid, Rashawn McCarthy, and a future first round pick.
The Picanto had lost their first two games in the ongoing Philippine Cup and are actually 0-14 dating back to last season, including a winless stint (0-11) in the Governors Cup.
It was under Gavina however, that the former expansion franchise made it to the playoffs for the first time during the 2016 Governors Cup, where it lost to Meralco in the quarterfinals.
In the five conferences Gavina handled the team - four of them as lead deputy to playing-coach Manny Pacquiao - the Picanto went 12-34 (win-loss) overall.
"We want to thank coach Chris for all the things he had done for the team. He'll always had my utmost respect," Lipa added. "He said he'll be away from coaching at the moment as he wants to concentrate in marketing his IMPACT power drink."
Lipa said he's leaving it all up for Dandan if he'll add one more assistant to his coaching staff that currently includes Art dela Cruz and Johnedel Cardel.