Five candidates on UP short list, but 'internal issue' keeping Maroons from naming coach
UP team manager Dan Palami says former Alaska center Poch Juinio is running the Maroons practice until the school finally names a new head coach. Jerome Ascano

FIVE coaches are being considered for the head coaching job of University of the Philippines, but team manager Dan Palami admitted an 'internal issue' is keeping the Maroons from naming a new mentor the soonest possible time.

Palami bared that out of the 18 coaches who applied for the job, five candidates have made the short list of a search committee composed of school officials and former University of Santo Tomas coach Pido Jarencio.

“We have about five that we are looking closely,” bared Palami, who is also the chief executive of UFL side Global FC and team manager of the Philippine Azkals national team.

The sportsman hopes a pending change in the school’s organizational structure will finally be ironed out in order to finally name the Maroons’ new coach.

Palami disclosed that there is a move by the school to form a varsity affairs office which will have a say on any decisions regarding UP varsity teams, including the basketball squad.

With the plan hanging, the search committee can't name the new Maroons coach since the person to be picked will still pass through the varsity affairs office once it is instituted.

“I’ll be meeting with the search committee including the UP alumni to finally thrash out some of the problems that has prevented us from moving forward in the search of a new coach,” said Palami.

“Of course, everybody has good intentions but at the end of the day, we really have to find a coach really soon.

“There is a proposal to create an office for varsity affairs and from that office will emanate the choice of coaches and make the decisions regarding varsity teams not only in basketball.

We urge them to make a decision on that because I don’t want to our decision to be pre-empted by something that might happen later on or might change,” said Palami.

At the same time, the UP team manager declined to name those who are being seriously considered to take over the job left by Rey Madrid, as per agreement with the UP search committee.

“In fairness, I made it a rule to the other members of the search committee on naming the applicants as it will actually be counterproductive to the search,” Palami said.

Despite the absence of a coach, Palami said the Maroons are not pushing the panic button yet.

“Well, the sense of urgency is not as urgent as other people have been trying to portray. There have been some organizational changes in the UP structure that might affect the process, and that’s the reason why we have to fast-track so that we can continue,” said Palami.


The Maroons, according to him, have been continuously training in preparation for UAAP Season 78 – which the school incidentally will be hosting – with skills coach Joe Ward and assistant coach Poch Juinio supervising the team's training.

“We are coming in prepared especially since we are the host,” said Palami.

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