DEFENDING UAAP men’s basketball champion De La Salle was quick to ease fears of an impending coaching change in the team after head coach Juno Sauler was given a more active role in his capacity as a deputy at Barangay Ginebra in the PBA.
La Salle representative to the UAAP board Henry Atayde assured on Saturday that Sauler will still be the one calling the shots for the Green Archers amidst speculations he might soon be asked to take over the coaching reins of the Kings.
Incidentally, La Salle is being bankrolled by former ambassador Eduardo 'Danding' Cojuangco, the chairman of San Miguel Corporation which owns the Ginebra team.
But Atayde was quick to play down the speculations, saying there are no current plans for La Salle to make a coaching change especially with the Green Archers eyeing a second straight championship when Season 77 of the UAAP comes off the wraps middle of this year.
When asked about the rumors, Atayde simply laughed about it and replied, “Of course, not.”
Several times during Ginebra’s timeout huddle during its PBA Commissioner’s Cup game against Barako Bull Friday night, Sauler was seen live on TV mapping out the plays of the team in lieu of head coach Ato Agustin.
Shortly after the Kings won the match in overtime, 108-104, Sauler said he’s been asked by management to take a more active role with the team this conference, especially with the UAAP still in the offseason.
The soft-spoken mentor added he’s still committed to coach the Green Archers, whom he led to the UAAP championship last season that ended the school’s six-year title drought.
But several Ginebra fans were left impressed with the way Sauler conducted himself during the game against Barako, even asking team management through various social networking sites to officially appoint him as head coach of the league’s most popular ballclub.
College head coaches, however, are not allowed by the PBA to hold the same position in the pro league.