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Magsanoc steps down as coach of Red Lions

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Ronnie Magsanoc resigns. Photo August Dela Cruz

MANILA, Philippines — One championship run seemed enough for Ronnie Magsanoc as the San Beda coach resigned just two months after steering the Red Lions to the NCAA men’s basketball crown on his debut season.

Magsanoc made the announcement before the players and school officials during the team’s Christmas party on Saturday night.

He simply told them it was “mission accomplished” and cited “personal reasons” for his surprise decision.

Team insiders said tycoon and top San Beda patron Manny V. Pangilinan had already named NLEX coach Boyet Fernandez as the “top candidate” for the San Beda post.

Fernandez, who steered NLEX to three straight PBA D-League championships, also serves as the Lions’ consultant.

Magsanoc took over at San Beda in April following the departure of Frankie Lim, who resigned after the NCAA suspended him for two years for his involvement in a team brawl.

But Magsanoc, named as one of the PBA’s 25 greatest players, had always maintained that “there was never really a plan” for him to mentor the team even if he’s one of the school’s most prominent high school alumni.

Magsanoc had a stirring debut in the NCAA where he won his opening game even with only six players against Arellano, 81-71, last June. The rest of the team served their suspension for their role in the controversial brawl.

The Lions sustained their dominant form before downing the Letran Knights in the finals for their third straight crown last October.

Magsanoc also bagged the Season 88 Coach of the Year honors after steering the Lions to a record 17th overall basketball title.


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