FORMER PBA top draft pick Rich Alvarez remains very much part of the Phoenix Super LPG coaching staff, though the current pandemic situation has kept him from officially joining the team.
Team manager Paolo Bugia said the 6-foot-4 Alvarez is still doing his fair share with the Fuel Masters as part of Topex Robinson’s coaching staff.
“He’s still very much in consideration. He helps out pa rin from time to time and sends report to coach Topex kasi online lang naman, virtual lang naman ang karamihang ng mga activities naming, through emails and stuff,” said the Phoenix official.
“Hopefully, when everything becomes clear with the schedule of the PBA, maging klaro na rin yung sitwasyon niya. Kasi mahirap talagang mag-move forward kasi hindi ka makapag plano with this thing.”
Alvarez, 40, and the no. 1 overall pick by Formula Shell in the 2004 draft, was named part of the Phoenix coaching staff along with Jamike Jarin when Robinson took the position on an interim basis last year.
But with only a limited number of personnel allowed per team during the Philippine Cup bubble, Alvarez failed to join the Fuel Masters in Clark, Pampanga as Robinson only brought Jarin, Willy Wilson, Jon Jacinto, and Kristoffer Reyes as part of his coaching staff.
“He was supposed to come with the team but because sa bubble limited personnel lang, so hindi siya nakasama,” said Bugia.
“And then ito we were supposed to bring him in. We were already talking to him again, but na prolong na naman yung opening ng liga. So hindi matuluy-tuloy yung pagpasok niya.”
Along with Alvarez, another former PBA player in Dondon Hontiveros has been added to the Phoenix coaching staff as the team’s shooting consultant.
Alvarez had previous coaching experience as part of the KIA franchise’s coaching staff from 2014 to 2018, and then joined the GenSan Warriors team in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL).