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    No deal yet: Pido clarifies talks ongoing with San Miguel as UST backer

    No deal yet
    Feb 14, 2023

    NEWLY-designated University of Santo Tomas coach Pido Jarencio clarified no deal has yet been made with San Miguel Corporation (SMC) coming in as major backer of the Tigers basketball program.

    Jarencio said the presence of SMC sports director Alfrancis Chua on Monday night during a post-signing dinner at Quezon City restaurant doesn't mean everything has been cast in stone between the school and the corporation.

    See Pido Jarencio makes long-term UST commitment with three-year deal

    "Inimbitahan ko lang siya doon sa dinner personally to give advice and talk to the coaches and some mga pari," Jarencio said early morning of Valentine's Day.

    "Pero hindi dahil andun si Al, automatic nang papasok na ang San Miguel."

    A number of photos showing Chua present during the dinner came out on social media late Monday night, fueling speculations a partnership between the school and SMC had been forged.

    The Varsitarian, the official school organ of UST, was the first to post the photos online.



    While Jarencio didn't deny UST is indeed eyeing SMC to back its basketball program, he said talks are still ongoing.

    "Kinu-convince pa lang namin si coach Al and the SMC group, pero wala pang final na napagkasunduan," Jarencio said.

    "Tumawag nga sa akin umagang-umaga, tinatanong bakit may lumabas na ganun. Sabi ko hindi ko rin alam Kasi Wala namang nag-i-interview sa akin."

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      Of course speculations were fueled by the fact that SMC served as major backer of the Letran Knights the past three seasons that saw the Intramuros-based school won the NCAA men's basketball title during that same span.

      Former coach Bonnie Tan, who steered the Knights to the historic three-peat, is now consultant of Jarencio and the Tigers.

      Another key person in Waiyip Chong is likewise now team manager of UST after serving in the same capacity with Letran while Tan was still the coach.

      But Jarencio insisted negotiations are still on the table with the SMC group.

      "Wala pa talaga. Si coach Al inimbita ko being a former UST alumnus and teammate. Pero hanggang doon pa lang yun," the UST coach added.

      Prior to the dinner, Jarencio and his coaching staff were formally welcomed by top UST personnel through a contract signing that had the former UST great agreeing to a three-year deal.


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