BARAKO Bull Energy has made a stunning change a day before the start of the PBA's 40th season, tapping Koy Banal as head coach after deciding to part ways with Siot Tanquingcen.
Tanquingcen himself confirmed the development to Spin.ph on Saturday but refused to give details about his sudden departure, just a conference after taking over the coaching reins from Bong Ramos.
“Yes, it’s true. Well, I was just advised last night in a meeting that I'm no longer coaching Barako,” Tanquincen told Spin.ph. “Sila na lang ang tanungin niyo, mas maganda pa.”
The soft-spoken coach instead expressed gratitude to the people who gave him the opportunities in a coaching career highlighted by two championships with Ginebra and one with San Miguel Beer.
“Ganun talaga eh, part of the job. I respect management's decision. Wala naman tayong magagawa. Nagpapasalamat pa rin ako kila boss Danding (Cojuangco), boss Ramon Ang and boss Henry Cojuangco and now Mr. George Chua sa pagkakataon na binigay sa akin sa Ginebra, San Miguel at Barako,” he added.
A source, however, bared that there had been a couple of misunderstandings between Tanquingcen and management, mostly about personnel matters, long before the partnership was severed.
"There are some personal reasons which are not acceptable in their terms. Kaya kami nag-decide, hindi kami nag-back out. There are reasons that’s why we decided to call off our relationship,” said the source.
Another information reached Spin.ph that the former University of Santo Tomas guard had clashed with management over the non-signing of rookie guard Philip Morrison.
The catquick six-foot guard was drafted 18th overall by Barako Bull but was released unconditionally. He has recently been signed by the Meralco Bolts.
Banal, whose most recent head-coaching job was with Arellano in the NCAA last season, will now call the shots when the Energy open their PBA Philippine Cup campaign against the Bolts on Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Although Tanquingcen was vague about the future, sources said there is a chance he may reunite with buddy and sparring partner Jong Uichico, who is now the head coach of the Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters.
"That's a possibility. Kaso sa ngayon, hindi pa nakakagalaw si Jong sa Talk 'N Text. Bago lang din siya run eh. Parang wala pa siyang power to bring in some of his men," said the another source who requested anonymity.
When asked about the possibility of reuniting with Uichico, Tanquicen said he has not talked to Uichico about it.
“Wala pa kaming pag-uusap ni coach Jong, Wala pa, wala pa,” he said.
Asked what his plans are, the former Tigers guard revealed that he’ll focus more on taking care of his two kids, who are both on home study.
Still, Tanquingcen said he is not closing the door on coaching another team.
“Love ko itong trabaho na ito eh. Hindi naman kaila sa iba yun. Kung merun na iba dyan, ngayon siguro I am looking forward to kung ano ang plano ng Panginoon sa akin… career-wise,” he said.
“Sa ngayon, wala pang concrete, hopefully makabalik tayo. Pero sa ngayon, family time muna ako,” Tanquingcen said.