ALFRANCIS Chua surprised Barangay Ginebra players and fans on Friday when he showed up at the team's practice, just four days after stepping down as head coach.
In shorts and slippers and bringing pancit as merienda for the players, Chua exchanged pleasantries with the players and the coaching staff who swarmed around him at the Reyes Gym in Mandaluyong.
Team superstars Mark Caguioa and Kerby Raymundo were the first to greet the ponytailed coach, who has been convinced by team management to file a leave of absence instead of a resignation.
At the gym to witness Chua's visit were fans bearing placards hoping to convince the coach to stay.
However, Chua has not shown any indication that he plans to return to the team in time for the Governors Cup after former consultant for basketball operations Noli Eala was assigned to another job at San Miguel Corp.
But one of his closest friends, Basketball Coaches Association of the Philippines head Chito Narvasa, said given the needed space to run things, Chua might just stage a comeback at the Ginebra bench.
“Basta ang masasabi ko lang, pabayaan muna nating magpahinga yan. Babalik yan but not this conference. Pagpahingahin muna natin,” said Narvasa.
“Sa totoo lang sasabihin ko na sa iyo ah, masakit para kay Alfrancis na magresign at iwan ang team. Mahal niya ang players, mahal niya ang management at mahal niya ang fans."