New year, fresh changes as Ginebra makes transition from Jeff Cariaso to Ato Agustin
Ato Agustin is set to re-assume the coaching reins at Ginebra from Jeff Cariaso with former San Beda coach Frankie Lim being recruited to join him in a rejigged coaching staff. On the other hand, longtime Ginebra star Mark Caguioa is reportedly being groomed to take over in the future. Jerome Ascano/

THE winds of change have once again come for Barangay Ginebra, which is braced for a couple of changes as it starts the new year with the transition from head coach Jeff Cariaso to Ato Agustin.

When the popular Gin Kings converge for their first practice of the year at the Green Meadows Gym at 1 p.m. on Monday, Ginebra alternate governor Alrancis Chua will formally announce to the team the re-appointment of Agustin in lieu of Cariaso.

The re-appointment of Agustin, who served as Ginebra head coach for three conferences following the resignation of Chua in 2013, may likely see the return of the Gin Kings to their patented run-and-gun style after a failed experiment with the triangle offense under Cariaso.

Diehard fans should welcome the return to the fast-paced offense, which they feel better fit Ginebra's array of open-court players like Mark Caguioa, LA Tenorio, Jayhay Helterbrand, Dylan Ababou, Joseph Yeo, Japeth Aguilar, Chris Ellis and Emman Monfort.

No information has yet been revealed as to where Cariaso and chief assistant Olsen Racela will be shipped, but a crowded coaching staff at Purefoods will most likely prevent them from returning to their former team.

[See Source: Cariaso out as Ginebra coach; Agustin set to re-assume reins]

Meanwhile, another source told that former San Befa Red Lions coach Frankie Lim is also being recruited to join the Ginebra coaching staff after a couple of years away from the game.

Lim is being eyed to take up one the assistant coaches posts under Agustin, a source said.

When reached by, Lim, who ironically used to be part of the rival group of Manny V. Pangilinan-owned teams,  confirmed ongoing negotiations but claimed he is still waiting for the decision of Chua regarding his contract.

"Wala pa. Nag-uusap pa kami ni Al. Wala pa akong masabi. Hindi pa kami nakakapag-usap ulit. I still have to talk with Al," said Lim.


Asked if he is in line to become the future head coach of Ginebra, which has undergone constant changes over the last four years, Lim expressed reservations.

"I don't know about that. Sila ang nagdedesisyon," he said. "I don't have to expect anything. Not unless I get to talk with them (again)."

Lim was a longtime team manager of Talk 'N Text and had a successful stint as head coach of the Pangilinan-backed San Beda Red Lions, steering the Mendiola-based squad to four NCAA titles in 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2012.

His tenure at San Beda was abruptly cut short when he and some of his former players at San Beda figured in a brawl against a group led by San Sebastian Lady Stags champion volleyball coach Roger Gorayeb.

The incident led to the NCAA handing down a two-year ban on Lim.

Ginebra's plans for Lim are vague at this point, although San Miguel Corp. big boss Ramon S. Ang himself told that Ginebra's resident star Mark Caguioa 'can be a good coach in the future.'

That has only bolstered talk that Caguioa and longtime backcourt partner Jayjay Helterbrand are already being groomed for a head coach and assistant coach roles, respectively, at the team in the future.

[See Mark Caguioa can be a good coach in the future, says SMC big boss Ramon Ang]

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