BOYCIE Zamar confirmed on Wednesday that he has turned down an offer to coach Barangay Ginebra, clearing the way for the return of Alfrancis Chua or the retention of Ato Agustin despite a dismal first season as coach of the PBA's most popular ballclub.
Zamar, head coach of University of the East and an assistant to Agustin at Ginebra, told Spin.ph he has talked to San Miguel Corp. big boss Ramon S. Ang, Ginebra governor Robert Non, and team manager Chua three weeks ago informing them of his decision not to accept the offer.
Reportedly the personal choice of Ang to coach Ginebra, Zamar said he has decided to honor his contract with UE for next season but was also honest enough to admit that he feels he is not ready for such a high-profile coaching job.
“Yes, it was offered to me on a silver platter, pero I have to protect my integrity and be honest with myself,” Zamar said. “Ayaw ko namang talikuran yung kontrata ko sa UE. Saka let’s put it this way - I still have to learn the ropes."
As early as July when Chua resigned over differences with former SMC sports director Noli Eala, Spin.ph has already reported that officials have already informed the team that Zamar had been picked to coach Ginebra next season while Agustin took over in an interim basis.
[For full story, see Zamar next in line for Ginebra job]
However, Zamar said he has decided to complete his "unfinished business" with the Warriors, who fell short of reaching the Final Four this season.
“Hindi naman sa hindi ko kinuha pero sinabi ko lang kila boss RSA (Ang), Boss Robert (Non) and Coach Al (Chua) na may obligasyon pa ako sa UE,” said Zamar. “May responsibilidad pa ako sa UE at gusto ko pang matuto.”
Zamar said Ang gave him a pat on the back after the talk.
“Natuwa siya kasi honest daw ko. Kung iba daw yun, susunggaban agad yung trabaho,” said the 47-year old Illonggo, who will now be reuinited with his son, Paul, at the UE-Cebuana Lhuillier team in the PBA D-League Foundation Cup starting on October 24.
Asked if he is not afraid to pass up on a golden opportunity to coach the most popular team in the country, Zamar gave an honest response.
“Sa akin, kung darating ulit 'yun, darating 'yun. Focus na lang muna ako sa unfinished business ko sa UE and hopefully make myself better,” he added.
Zamar's decision now clears the way for the return of Chua, who was convinced to move up to the team manager's position after he resigned as coach at the end of the Philippine Cup.
There has been a strong clamor among diehard fans for Chua's return, more so after the Gin Kings tumbled out at the quarterfinal stage of the Governors Cup in Agustin's first conference as coach.
However, it was Agustin who has been running the team since Ginebra returned to practice early this week.
“Ato has been running the team pa since nung nagbalik ensayo sila,” said Non. “Wala namang changes.”