MULTI-TITLED college coach Frankie Lim has been named the new head coach of Barangay Ginebra, replacing Ato Agustin after the league's most popular team's latest disappointment in the PBA.
No less than San Miguel Corp. big boss Ramon S. Ang confirmed to Spin.ph Lim's appointment, just two days after the talent-laden team tumbled out of the Commissioner's Cup following a 91-92 loss to Rain or Shine.
"Yes, the green light is on for Frankie," Ang said in a phone interview, confirming Lim's rise to the head-coaching position barely months after joining Ginebra as an assistant in January.
News of Lim's looming appointment was first reported by the Philippine Star.
Before joining Ginebra, Lim served as team manager of SMC's rival Talk 'N Text and had a successful career with San Beda, which he served to four NCAA championships before being handed a two-year ban for his role in an off-court brawl between the Red Lions and San Sebastian's volleyball team.
Now he is set to become the fifth head coach over the past six conferences to call the shots for Ginebra, which last won a league championship in 2008.
According to sources, it was Ang himself who invited Lim to join the Ginebra coaching staff at the turn of the year.
“Alam niya (Ang) 'yung nangyayari sa team. Dati siguro pinagbibigyan lang niya, eh hindi ulit maganda ang response ng tao sa campaign, siguro naisip niya na panahon na para siya mag-decide,” said the source.
According to Lim's former players, the coach's focus on discipline as well as his run-and-gun offense make him a perfect fit for a team that last reached a PBA finals in 2013 under now team governor Al Chua.
“Naku, pagpa-star ka sa kanya, kailangan gampanan mo role mo. Pag hindi, naku ewan ko lang. Tiyak ko dyan, madidisiplina niya lahat ng players,” said former San Beda standout Dave Marcelo.
“Nakakatakot magalit 'yan. Siya kasi yung uri ng coach na papatulan ka talaga niya at hindi uurungan,” he added.
Another former Lim protégé and Barako Bull rookie big man Jake Pascual believes Lim is exactly what the doctor ordered for Ginebra.
“Nasa player din kasi kung susundin siya. Kung may suporta sa kanya ang management ng Ginebra, mas madali niya ma-i-implement ang gusto niya,” said Pascual, who won championships with Lim at San Beda.
“Matagal nang championship caliber ang Ginebra. Sa umpisa maninibago players, mangangapa si coach, pero in time, kaya niyang dalhin sa championship ang team” he added.
Asked how Lim will approach players with star complex, Pascual replied with a laugh.
“Winning coach kasi si coach eh. Tiyak ko kakausapin niyang isa-isa yan. Kung may hindi aayon sa kanya … diskarte na niya 'yun boss,” he said with a laugh.
“Pero si coach Frankie, madaling kausap 'yan. Saka bagay sa Ginebra yan, dahil run and gun rin ang style niya. Kaya lang mas matinding takbuhan. Patayan talaga,” added Pascual.