SUDDENLY, former Ginebra coach Siot Tanquingcen has become part of the conversation in the search for the next University of Santo Tomas coach.
Sources said several quarters within the UST community are now lobbying for Tanquingcen to be included in the list of candidates being eyed to take over the job recently vacated by Pido Jarencio.
Jarencio, the former UST star who coached the Tigers to an improbable UAAP men’s championship during his rookie year in 2006, has signed a two-year contract to handle Globalport in the PBA.
Tanquincen is a known UST alumnus who was the starting point guard of the Tigers team that won the 1993 UAAP championship by completing a historic 14-game sweep.
He later played in the PBA before becoming a champion coach with teams under the San Miguel Corp. umbrella.
At the moment, Estong Ballesteros is holding the position in an acting capacity days after Jarencio officially made the move to the pro league.
UST officials, however, have yet to release an official statement as to the status of the Tigers’ head coaching job.
Ballesteros, sources said, also has the endorsement of Jarencio to become his successor after serving as his deputy for the past several years.
Then again, Tanquingcen also looms as a strong candidate based on his credentials alone. At present, Tanquingcen serves as team manager of Petron.
In a letter to the Thomasian community, Jarencio reiterated his heart remains with the school despite leaving the Tigers head coaching position.
“It is with a heavy heart that I relinquish my position as head coach of the UST Growling Tigers to try my luck in the professional league,” said Jarencio.
“I shall not say goodbye, for I remain a true-blooded Tomasino at heart,” he added.