JUNO Sauler is ready to take on a new challenge as he becomes one of the assistant coaches of Star in the PBA.
Following his resignation as head coach of the De La Salle Green Archers in the UAAP, Sauler has found himself returning to the PBA with the Hotshots after 13 years in the same role with Barangay Ginebra.
The Green Archers failed to reach the Final Four in the recently-concluded UAAP season following a 6-8 win-loss record, prompting Sauler to resign from the post. He was eventually replaced by Aldin Ayo.
But Sauler wasn’t left jobless for long, as he was taken in as one of the assistant coaches of Star head coach Jason Webb, incidentally a teammate for a year with De La Salle-Zobel and three years with the De La Salle seniors team during the 1990s.
Sauler formally marks his return to the PBA on Sunday in a game against Barako Bull.
“It’s exciting to be with a new team,” said Sauler, who as a rookie coach in 2013 led La Salle to a UAAP championship. “I’m looking forward to the challenges and being able to help in any way I can.”
Tonyboy Espinosa, another point guard from that Green Archers’ squad in the 1990s, was also taken in by Webb when he was appointed to replace Tim Cone as Star coach.
Mon Jose, another assistant coach of Webb with Star, is also a former teammate of Sauler for one year, completing a reunion of sorts for the former De La Salle cagers.
Johnny Abarrientos, a former Far Eastern University standout in his college days before being drafted by Alaska in the PBA, is the other member of Webb’s staff.
Sauler said he also doesn’t see a difficult adjustment for him in his move from Ginebra to Star, having been focused on his job as head coach of De La Salle for several years.
“I was able to adjust gradually because the past years, I wasn’t involved that much with Ginebra,” said Sauler.