Vanguardia takes blame for early Phoenix exit, plans to join NBA coaching camps to be a better coach
Ariel Vanguardia wants Phoenix to be a better team next season and it starts with himself as he plans to join NBA coaching camps. Jerome Ascano

ANTIPOLO – It’s not only players who take part in training camps in the offseason. Coaches also have their own version they can immerse in to find out what a world of knowledge they can still absorb.

Phoenix coach Ariel Vanguardia is planning to join a series of camps in the NBA with no less than the defending champion Golden State Warriors, Indiana Pacers, and Sacramento Kings next month after failing to lead the Fuel Masters to a postseason stint in the PBA Governors’ Cup.

“I apologize to the management and to the fans for the disappointing third conference,” Vanguardia said after the team’s 109-107 loss to San Miguel Beer on Wednesday night. “Again, I take full responsibility. We will learn from this and move on to become a better team.”

And the learning starts with himself after failing to lead the Fuel Masters to the playoffs for the first time in his four conferences at the helm.

“I plan to improve myself as a coach,” Vanguardia, who turns 45 on September 29, said. “Yun muna…You cannot outcoach Tim Cone, you cannot outcoach Yeng Guiao, but we outworked them and we pulled out some surprises.”

“Hopefully I become a better coach,” he added of the personal trip.

Vanguardia said his contact with Indiana is former Talk ‘N Text coach Bill Bayno, while the owner of the Malaysia Dragons, who he led to an ABL title two years ago, is a partner of the Warriors’ owner in a football venture. Former TNT import Brandon Williams is the assistant GM at Sacramento, says Vanguardia.

“We’ll start from there,” Vanguardia said. “It’s a long offseason, but we’re going to start early and prepare for next season.”

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos