KIA Sorento management has denied reports that stand-in coach Glenn Capacio has already been given the pink slip but confirmed negotiations for Joe Lipa to come on board as a coaching consultant.
Speculations on Capacio's future have grown over the past few days after KIA finished its maiden PBA conference with 10 successive losses, with the coach himself admitting that he has been 'out of the loop' in the team.
However, KIA team manager Eric Pineda said: “Wala, hindi totoo 'yun. He’s still there.”
Pineda nonetheless confirmed an information reaching Spin.ph that legendary coach Joe Lipa is already being groomed by the team to act as consultant to playing-coach Manny Pacquiao, who is set to take on an active role as playing-coach beginning in the Commissioner's Cup.
Lipa himself admitted Kia officials have contacted him to again offer him the job.
“Tinawagan na nila ako eh. Si Bobby Rosales ang nakausap ko. Kaso hindi pa kami nagkakasara kasi andito nga ako ngayon sa Davao,” said the former national coach.
Lipa, who led the University of the Philippine Maroons to their only UAAP title, said if ever he’ll take the job, he won't be replacing Capacio, who is Kia’s active assistant coach.
“Kung mapapasok ako dyan, hindi ko naman aagawin pwesto ni Glen. Kaibigan ko 'yan eh,” said Lipa, Capacio's coach in the Philippine team that bagged a bronze medal in the 1986 Seoul Asian Games.
“Pero wala pa 'yan. Nag-uusap pa lang kami. Hindi pa kami nakakapag-sara dahil andito nga ako sa Davao, tapos si Bobby baka umalis rin. Hindi ko alam,” said Lipa.
Informed that Capacio is said to be on his way out, Lipa sounded gloomy.
“Ganun ba? Eh tignan na lang natin,” he said.
“Kung sasabihan ako na mag-coach pansamantala, baka mapagbigyan natin. Kaibigan ko si Bobby eh. Hindi ako makakatanggi roon,” added the former UAAP commissioner.
Pineda declared that no changes have so far been implemented in the team.
“Wala. Status quo kami. Walang changes. Yung ulat na papalitan si Glenn, kuryente 'yan,” said Pineda.
Are major changes afoot after the holidays?
“Walang ganun. Hindi pa napapag-usapan 'yun. Kung may changes man, 'yan yung posibleng pagpasok ni coach Joe,” he said.
“Pero nuon pa man sinasabi na namin sa inyo na since the inception of the team, isa na talaga si coach Joe sa mga kinu-consider na maging consultant,” said Pineda, a longtime Team Pacquiao member.
Pineda also assured that Lipa's entry won't trigger a shake-up of the staff.
“Hindi naman. Consultant si coach Joe. Si Manny na ang magiging active sa coach. January pa lang andito na siya sa Manila to handle the team,” said Pineda.
“Pero kung papasok si coach Joe, of course, he is expected to review the plans of the coaching staff. We just want to make sure na 'yung gusto nating culture masusunod sa team, kaya kinukuha namin si coach Joe. He’ll be joining the team only thrice a week. He will not call the shots,” he added.