THE sporting year 2015 will go down as a time when coaches almost took the limelight away from the players in as far as surprise moves are concerned.
Here are the biggest 'movers.'
5. Franz Pumaren
After a six-year hiatus, Pumaren returned to college basketball but not with the green and white, as the five-time UAAP champion with La Salle accepted an offer to coach the Adamson Falcons, a team that intends to make a turn around after last reaching the Final Four in 2011 under then head coach Leo Austria.
4. Tab Baldwin
The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) turned to a tested internationalist in Baldwin to lead the Gilas Pilipinas basketball program after the departure of Chot Reyes at the start of 2015. Under his watch, Baldwin led the Gilas cadets to the gold medal in two regional tournaments including the Southeast Asian Games. Months later, Baldwin led a Gilas Pilipinas team to a silver medal in the 2015 Fiba-Asia Championship in Changsha, China. The squad is now preparing for the final qualifier for the 2016 Olympics next year.
3. Aldin Ayo
Ayo helped Letran end a decade-long title drought in the NCAA after beating San Beda in three games in the Season 91 championship series. Weeks later, however, Ayo shocked college basketball after accepting an offer to coach the De La Salle Green Archers, whose failure to reach the Final Four in UAAP Season 78 led to the resignation of Juno Sauler.
2. Tab Baldwin
Baldwin returns to this list following Ateneo's surprising decision to tap the Gilas coach for the Blue Eagles. By replacing Bo Perasol, Baldwin became the second foreigner after Norman Black to head one of the country’s prestigious college basketball programs. Baldwin’s hiring, however, has come under fire from the Basketball Coaches Association of the Philippines, and he will likely end up as a consultant.
Needing a boost following several years of disappointment, Barangay Ginebra turned to a multi-titled coach in Cone. What made the move surprising was that Cone was just a few years removed from his second PBA grand slam with San Mig Coffee, now Star. The switch was of course met with mixed emotions from fans of both sides. Nevertheless, Cone brought new hope to Ginebra’s legions of fans who have not tasted championship success since their last crown in 2007.