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    Rajko "open" to take over SMC pro squad

    Jul 13, 2012
    Former Smart Gilas coach Rajko Toroman is being eyed to coach one of the three San Miguel-owned teams in the pro league starting next season. Jerome Ascano

    FORMER national team coach Rajko Toroman has expressed his willingness to call the shots for one of San Miguel Corporation’s three teams in the PBA.

    “Maybe in the future, I’m open to talk about it,” the Petron coaching consultant said on Friday before the Boosters' game against Talk ‘N Text in the Governors’ Cup semifinals at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

    “Everything depends on the management,” he was quick to add. "The most important thing right now is to finish the conference right."

    Although no formal offer has been made, Toroman said he welcomes the possibility as a “challenge for me.”

    On Thursday, SMC director of sports Noli Eala said naming the Serb as a coach of one of the company's three pro teams -- the two others are B-Meg and Ginebra -- is "something that we're seriously studying."

    Toroman has coached numerous professional European squads in the past, but he said that coaching in the PBA is "more difficult."

    Toroman, 57, currently has a two-year contract with the Boosters.

    Asked which team he prefers to handle, Toroman had no immediate choice.

    “All three teams are great teams.”

    Toroman is best known as the coaching genius behind the success of the 2008 Iranian national team that made it to the Beijing Olympics.

    His success there paved the way for him to become coach of the pioneering Smart Gilas team, leading the squad to a fourth-place finish in last year's Fiba-Asia championship.

    When his contract was not renewed by the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, the Serb joined the San Miguel group as a coaching consultant for Petron as well as SMC's team in the Asean Basketball League.

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    Former Smart Gilas coach Rajko Toroman is being eyed to coach one of the three San Miguel-owned teams in the pro league starting next season. Jerome Ascano
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