SEGUNDO ‘Bong’ Dela Cruz will be appointed as the new head coach of University of Santo Tomas, according to a person with inside knowledge of the selection process who requested anonymity.
The source told Spin.ph that UST management has already picked Dela Cruz to replace longtime coach Pido Jarencio following a meeting on Wednesday.
An official announcement will be made soon, he added.
In fact, UST officials had already announced Dela Cruz's appointment as the new head coach before the players during a recent practice, added the source.
Dela Cruz was a former high school star at UST before moving to Adamson in college where he teamed up with the likes of Marlou Aquino, EJ Feihl, and Kenneth Duremdes.
Dela Cruz will replace Jarencio, who has moved to the PBA to coach the Globalport Batang Pier after leading the Tigers to the 2006 UAAP title and three finals appearances.
Dela Cruz beat out former Tigers Gerard Francisco and Estong Ballesteros, who like Dela Cruz had served as an assistant coach to Jarencio.
While it was initially reported that Ballesteros had the endorsement of Jarencio, a source disclosed that Dela Cruz also had the support of the former UST coach during his bid for the post.
A source said Ballesteros will be asked to stay on to be part of Dela Cruz's staff under an agreement the two former assistant coaches agreed upon during the selection process.
While Spin.ph has previous reported that Dela Cruz had the inside track on the UST job, his appointment still came as a surprise since his name wasn't mentioned in the selection process until a few weeks ago.
However, sources said Dela Cruz enjoyed the support of UST management which even asked him to submit a resume during the search for a new head coach.
Dela Cruz's first assignment for UST will be in the coming Filoil preseason tournament slated next month.