FAR EASTERN University hopes to hire a coach by November to begin its preparations for the next UAAP season.
Nash Racela is the leading candidate for the head coaching job although FEU athletic director Mark Molina said that nothing is final.
“Malayo pa, hindi pa namin masabi," said Molina. "We are targeting the first week of November to practice. Hopefully, meron nang head coach by then.”
Molina also denied that Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes will be involved in the FEU basketball program but Racela has indicated to FEU management that if he is hired as coach, he will take in Reyes’ son Josh - also an assistant with the Smart Gilas team - as an assistant. Molina and Reyes are first cousins.
The FEU athletic director said that the composition of the team will depend on the next coach.
“Sa ngayon, wait and see pa. Gusto naming bigyan ng prerogative ‘yung coach to choose his assistant. Halos intact naman kami, I don’t see na maraming matatangal,” Molina said.
Molina said that Bert Flores, who handled the Tamaraws last season, will stay on with the FEU system as one of the recruiters.
“Coach Bert will still be with FEU in another capacity. Kahit dati, nandito naman siya lagi sa FEU, lagi naman siyang nandiyan pagdating sa recruitment, siya ang magaling diyan. He will continue to be our guy in terms of recruitment,” Molina said.
Molina clarified that FEU and the MVP Sports Foundation, which is headed by Reyes, are in exploratory talks over the creation of a sports institute in its high school campus in Diliman that will also house athletes under the care of the foundation.
“We talk to each other because of the sports foundation. It happened that we have the same objective,” Molina said of the national coach. "Parang MVP (Foundation) wants to put up a sports institute. We are talking, FEU and MVP Sports Foundation, exploring a partnership."
Molina added that a gym and a football field with an artificial turf are currently being constructed at FEU's Diliman campus, making it a perfect base for a sports institute if the plans prosper.
"MVP (Foundation) is looking for a venue for its athletes. ‘Yun ang pinag-uusapan namin na ‘yung mga athletes ng sports foundation will train at FEU-Diliman and possibly kung matuloy, ‘yung mga national athletes who are part of the sports foundation can possibly study at FEU-Diliman," Molina said.
“Kami naman, the reason why we want to increase our presence in high school sports is pagdating sa college, parang it’s too late to train athletes for international competitions.
“MVP Sports Foundation naman, they are targeting to win an Olympic gold in 2016. Parang may common interest kami na gusto naming makatulong sa mga international-caliber athletes."