DON'T look now, but the coaching rigodon in the country’s premier collegiate league looks far from over.
Sources told Spin.ph that the University of the Philippines Maroons are out to name a new head coach to replace rookie mentor Rensy Bajar and it is likely former Ateneo bench tactician Bo Perasol.
Information reaching Spin.ph bared that Perasol is now in the final stages of his negotiations with officials of his alma mater, just months after finishing his three-year contract with Ateneo without a championship.
“They are talking to Bo. And kaunting details na lang. Pero it can still change,” said the source.
Aside from Perasol, another name that cropped up is former Barako Bull head coach Bong Ramos, who, sources from the state university said, will be counted upon in the recruitment of fresh talent.
“Nakita ng UP, 'yung ginawang buildup ni Ramos sa Barako before and they also took into consideration how he was able to bring the team to the playoffs, including 'yung time na nadala pa niya sa semis 'yung team against Petron (now San Miguel),” said the source.
Another candidate for the UP head coaching job is two-time UAAP women’s basketball champion coach Pat Aquino, who, sources said, is being pushed by people close to the patrons of the school team.
Aquino, also a former UP player like Perasol, is an assistant coach at Blackwater, whose owner Dioceldo Sy is close to Maroons patron Robina Gokongwei.
Gokongwei , a source said, has left the search for the new coach in the hands of team management and school officials.
The looming coaching change is just the latest to happen in the UAAP, which has seen national coach Tab Baldwin take over the Ateneo job from Perasol and former Letran coach Aldin Ayo replace Juno Sauler at La Salle.
Former La Salle coach Franz Pumaren has also taken over the Adamson program.
Meanwhile, Bajar suddenly got the ax after reportedly abandoned the run-and-gun system in favor of the slow break midway through his rookie season to the chagrin of team management.
“Ang problema, Rensy manned up to the coaching job. Parang sinolo na nya ang role until he forgot that we prepared long for the last season with the plan of running,” said the source of Bajar, who won two games for the Maroons this season.
“Remember, UP lacks the frontline compared to the other teams. Yes, we may have big men kaso hindi pa sila ripe to bang with the bigs of other established squads,” he added.
“Hindi naman 'yun (deliberate offense) ang pinaghanadaan ng team. If you notice, nahihirapan pumasok ang wings namin pag nakaka set-up ang depensa ng kalaban,” added the source.
“And what’s sad about it is he no longer listens to our consultant, Joe Ward. Kaya parang nagkakaroon ng tension sa team,” he added.