BARANGAY Ginebra coach Al Chua announced before his players that he was stepping down as tension rose on the day the Gin Kings returned to practice, multiple sources told Spin.ph.
Just moments after Rudy Hatfield announced his retirement (for full story, see Ginebra's Rudy Hatfield retiring after 14 seasons in PBA), sources said a bigger surprise jolted the team when Chua told the players of his decision to quit his position.
Although he led Ginebra to the PBA Commissioner's Cup Finals just months after taking over from Siot Tanquingcen, Chua had been unhappy with some of the decisions made for the team by company officials, sources said.
However, Chua told the players that he was resigning for "personal reasons."
“Nag-resign daw coach Chua sa practice. Inaawat pa ng team,” said a source who was present during the closed-door practice session.
According to sources, San Miguel Corp. sports director Noli Eala and Ginebra board representative Robert Non had to rush to the Kings practice facility at Xavier School in Greenhills to talk to Chua.
Both sports officials of Ginebra were still meeting with Chua inside at the gym as of posting time, hopefully to talk him out of his plan.
“Ang gulo nga sa amin ngayon. Nagulat nga kami lahat sa mga pangyayari. Andun pa sila nag-uusap pa,” said the source.
Another source told Spin.ph that even Ginebra superstar Mark Caguioa tried to pacify Chua and pleaded with him to reconsider his decision.
However, sources close to Chua bared that the pony-tailed coach had long been contemplating resigning and even took a vacation with his wife in Japan last month to think things over.
Team insiders said Chua had no hand in the choice of personnel who joined him in the Ginebra staff after a coaching shuffle initiated by San Miguel.