Is Sandy Arespacochaga in line for bigger role with Ateneo Blue Eagles?
Sandy Arespacochaga has been Tab Baldwin's companion as the new Ateneo coach begins his work in the college game. Dante Peralta

WILL Sandy Arespacochaga take on a bigger role for Ateneo starting next season?

Sources told that Arespacochaga is in line to be appointed as the Blue Eagles’ de facto coach, with Tab Baldwin acting as the consultant, if the school can't sort out problems on the Gilas Pilipinas coach's appointment with the Basketball Coaches Association of the Philippines (BCAP).

Since Ateneo president Fr. Jett Villarin announced Baldwin's appointment as the team’s new coach, no other statements have been released by the Katipunan-based school amid opposition from the BCAP, whose stand is consistent with a court ruling on foreign coaches taking on local jobs.

[See BCAP head hopes law will prevail in light of Baldwin appointment as Ateneo coach]

Asked to comment on the matter, Ateneo team manager Epok Quimpo was very careful with his response.

“All I know is whatever was announced before, that is still the status in the team,” said Quimpo in a short chat with

Of late, Arespacochaga has been seen as Baldwin's constant companion as the national coach laid down the groundwork for his new job at Ateneo by scouting some games in the UAAP juniors division.

[See Baldwin gets warm welcome as he scouts Blue Eaglets' game]

When asked about it, Baldwin said Arespacochaga is part of the Ateneo coaching staff and is helping him learn the ropes in the college game.

”I am working on learning all that I can about the amateur ranks starting with the high school players and coaches. We are also identifying potential recruits for next year and beyond,” said Baldwin.

“And Coach Sandy and our other coaches are showing me the way,” added the amiable coach who led Gilas to a runner-up finish in the 2015 Fiba Asia Championship in Changsha, China.

Arespacochaga, a former Blue Eagle who has been a part of the Ateneo coaching staff since the time of Norman Black, is also one of the assistants of Boyet Fernandez at NLEX.

NLEX sources said he is staying in the position - unless the Ateneo situation changes.

“Lagi nga naming niloloko si Coach Sandy. Tinatanong namin kung iiwan na ba niya kami. Lagi naman niyang sagot: ‘Hindi. Dito pa rin ako,' so siguro hindi naman totoo na magiging head coach siya dun (Ateneo),” said a member of the NLEX coaching staff.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @snowbadua