UNIVERSITY of the Philippines has this early started the process of looking for a permanent coach, just months after making an unexpected coaching change in a UAAP season that saw the Maroons go winless in 14 games.
Highly-placed sources said UP officials have already drawn up a list of candidates that includes former Maroons star Paolo Mendoza, current UP high school coach Allan Gregorio, interim coach Rey Madrid, and even former Far Eastern University head coach Glenn Capacio.
The move came after the long-suffering Maroons went winless in a season for the third time since 2007.
Madrid, who took over the job in an interim capacity to replace Ricky Dandan midway through Season 76, is still in the reckoning but has at the same time expressed openness to slide down and return to his role as one of the team managers of the Maroons.
"I'm open to any actions," Madrid said. “It’s still up for the UP administration especially the College of Human Kinetics which will be the one to decide if I will continue or not, which is open to me."
“If I’m promoted or demoted, I’ll still be part of the UP basketball program. That is my life-long commitment. I am what I am because of UP,” Madrid said.
Mendoza, according to a source, is interested in the position especially now that he has started a coaching career at the helm of PBA D-League newcomer UR Value, which has a school tie-up with the Maroons that will have Raul Soyud and Henri Asilum seeing action for the ballclub.
Mendoza was a star for the Maroons in the mid-nineties and is best remembered for scoring 60 points in one high school game for UPIS.
Gregorio, who like Mendoza is an alumni of the school, has been part of the UP basketball program for two seasons as coach of the Junior Maroons. He also has strong ties with telecommunications magnate Manny V. Pangilinan, being a team manager of the NLEX Road Warriors in the PBA D-League.
Although considered a longshot, Capacio, a source said, has also been approached about the possibility of taking on the job. Capacio's son is now part of the Team B roster of the Maroons.
Capacio, currently an assistant coach of the Globalport Batang Pier in the PBA, was a former head coach of the Tamaraws and led his alma mater to a finals appearance in 2011.