UNIVERSITY of the Philippines Diliman chancellor Dr. Michael Tan admitted the chances of Joe Ward being installed as the Maroons head coach could be hampered by Filipino coaches' opposition to a foreigner taking a job in the country's major basketball leagues.
Talking to reporters after the closing ceremonies of UAAP Season 77, Tan insisted that no head coach has been appointed by school officials for the Maroons, only saying that 12 were interviewed for the position.
“There are some choices but we are not in a position yet (to announce),” said Tan, who will be the incoming UAAP president for Season 78 which starts on September 5.
Of the 12, Ward is said to be the strongest candidate to take over the position left by Rey Madrid. Other candidates interviewed for the position, sources said, were Caloy Garcia, Eric Gonzales, Allan Gregorio, and Rensy Bajar.
Tan, however, admitted the school is aware that appointing Ward, an American, could be an issue with the Basketball Coaches Association of the Philippines (BCAP).
“It could be an issue,” said Tan. “Hindi rin klaro sa coaches association kung puwede ‘yun eh. Hindi klaro ang signals nila.”
Even with no formal appointment, Ward currently acts as the interim coach of the Maroons in their stint in the Filsports Basketball Association (FBA), a fledging regional amateur grassroots league.
Tan said he is satisfied with how Ward is handling the team so far.
“He is doing a good job of it and keeping them in condition,” Tan said.
The UP Diliman Chancellor also explained his desire to involve all sectors from the alumni to the faculty in selecting the new coach of the Maroons has caused delays.
“Na-delay ‘yung search process because I want to make sure na may other representations from different alumni groups because malakas ang suporta nila. There are several groups that we made sure were there like the faculty,” said Tan.