THE last vestiges of the Manny Pacquiao era at KIA are now gone.
Team manager Eric Pineda and assistant Jo Ramos will no longer be part of the franchise when the PBA opens its 43rd season this December.
Both Pineda and Ramos are longtime associates of Pacquiao, who served as playing-coach of the Picanto in its first three seasons in the league.
But Pacquiao parted ways with the team when his contract expired last month. Pineda, a representative of party list 1Pacman and Pacquiao's business manager, and Ramos soon followed suit.
Former national team coach Joe Lipa is set to take over as manager after previously serving as consultant, sources said.
KIA has been in the news again after striking a deal with San Miguel involving the No. 1 overall pick in this year's draft and a slew of back-up players being offered in return by the Beermen.
The Picanto previously dismantled a potential playoff team by trading away the likes of Aldrech Ramos, KG Canaleta, Paolo Taha, Mike Digregorio, Bradwyn Guinto, Alex Mallari, among others before and during the course of the season with Pineda at the helm.
Deputy coach Chris Gavina, who's been the one calling the shots for the team in the absence of Pacquiao, showed up at the first day of the PBA Rookie Draft Combine at the Gatorade Hoops Center in Mandaluyong on Monday, proof that he remains with the franchise after rumors came out that Junel Baculi is set to take over as head coach.