ARE Bo Perasol's days as Ateneo coach numbered?
That was the question swirling around the Ateneo community, a day after the Blue Eagles blew a big lead for the second successive weekend in UAAP season 78 and dropped a 76-80 loss to arch-rival La Salle.
The Blue Eagles' slide has inevitably put the heat on Perasol, the third-year coach who took was handed the reins after Norman Black moved up to the PBA following the school's run of five successive league championships.
Ateneo failed to make the Final Four in Perasol's debut season, was ousted as No. 1 seed in the Final Four last year and started this season at 4-3 (win-loss), staggering into the second round on the back of successive losses to University of Santo Tomas and La Salle.
With the team on free fall and tension mounting, sources said school officials and top supporters are set to meet on Monday afternoon, in a bid to right the ship going to the second round.
Sources didn't rule out a mid-season coaching change, if that is what it would take to salvage the Blue Eagles' season.
No particular replacement was mentioned, but one source pointed out that Ronnie Magsanoc - a recent addition to the Ateneo staff - was ordered to go home from PBA ballclub Meralco's training camp in Las Vegas to help out after the Blue Eagles' season-opening loss to Far Eastern University.
Asked about the sentiment of influential backers, sources said they rued the predictability of Ateneo's system owing in large part to Perasol's over reliance on senior guard Kiefer Ravena.
Ravena has gone 4-of-18 from the field in the loss to UST and 7-of-24 in Sunday's defeat to the Green Archers, yet Perasol went almost exclusively to the star guard in the final stretch of both matches.
Perasol, who was unavailable for comment at posting time, came on board on the recommendation of top Ateneo patron Manny V. Pangilinan, who left Changsha, China in a private plane shortly after Gilas Pilipinas' loss to China in the Fiba Asia final on Saturday night to be at ringside for Sunday's marquee match.
Incidentally, Magsanoc led another MVP-backed team, San Beda, to an NCAA championship two seasons ago and Hapee Toothpaste to a D-League title. He is currently one of Black's assistant coaches at Meralco.