ITALIAN Fabio Menta is out as coach of Foton's volleyball team, barely weeks after being hired to lead a selection that carried the company's colors in the 2016 AVC Asian Women’s Club Championship.
A team official, who refused to be named, confirmed that Menta was fired but declined to go into details.
“Yes, he was fired by the management, I heard about it (Fabio was fired) yesterday,” he said.
Multiple sources bared the team’s sub-par performance in the Asian tournament and a misunderstanding within the team forced Foton management to let the veteran internationalist go.
However, Menta claimed he resigned.
"All I can say right now is that I voluntarily resigned last Saturday at 4.48pm. At midnight, through email, the club has accepted my resignation. No comment on rest. Thanks," he told SPIN.ph.
Backed by American imports Lindsay Stalzer and Ariel Usher, the team that also included Jaja Santiago, Rhea Dimaculangan, Maika Ortiz, Sisi Rondina targeted at least a semifinal stint in the Binan, Laguna showpiece.
Foton won its opening game against Kwai Tsing of Hong Kong but didn't win again until the consolation battle for seventh place T. Grand of Chinese Taipei.
“Kasi ang goal talaga is semifinals, pero kinapos. Una, fifth place daw, eh natalo sa Iran tapos naging seventh na lang,” said the source.
Another source bared that the players were not exactly happy with Menta, who came on board to replace Vilet Ponce de Leon just three days before the team flew to Thailand for training camp .
It was de Leon who led Foton to the Philippine Super Liga Grand Prix title last year and a runner up finish in the All Filipino Conference in August.
“Hindi kasi siya nakakasundo ng mga players, ok naman siya wala ka naman marereklamo sa kanya, pero kung buong team di mo kasundo baka may mali sa pamamalakad mo,” said the source.
Meanwhile, the name of Moro Branislav has emerged in the search for a replacement for Menta.
Branislav is currently the head coach of the PSL Manila team that will compete in the FIVB Women's Club World Championship seton October 18-23 at the MOA Arena.
However, a Foton team official said nothing is final yet on negotiations with Branislav.