THE LAST time I talked with Barako Bull team manager/alternate governor Raffy Casyao, he was preparing to offer Pido Jarencio the head coaching post formerly held by Junel Baculi and assumed by Bong Ramos in an interim capacity.
That was a few days before Christmas, more or less over two weeks ago.
Back to work mode after the holidays, I realized that nothing has been heard of about the projected Jarencio appointment since.
Did negotiations fizzle out, I wondered, or did Jarencio get a more tempting offer from another team?
“Talks with Pido bogged down,” said Raffy, without going into the whys and wherefores or other details.
“And now I’m in the midst of another transaction, this time with Rajko Toroman.”
“Toroman? Are you sure you want him to be your coach?”, even I was surprised at my strong reaction to the news.
Apparently, Raffy had not read or heard about the critiques on the Serbian coach, who has a reputation for being ‘militaristic’. Players he has coached say it’s like being under Martial Law if you play for him.
They also say he’s very negative.
I told Raffy that while he may have been effective in an amateur team like Smart Gilas, the PBA is an entirely different turf. He’ll have a lot of adjusting to do if he wants to succeed. First of all, he has to adapt to the Filipino culture, and then the professional brand of basketball coaching.
Raffy was very nice about my unsolicited advice. He said Toroman was added to their short list of prospects when they learned that he had resigned as consultant of Petron Blaze and was planning to return to Serbia.
“We immediately took the opportunity to make an offer. His handling of Smart Gilas was the basis for our choice. We believe he’ll have an immediate impact on the team,” Raffy explained.
Going back to Pido, I wondered out loud if he was taking over the post vacated by Toroman, or any other post within San Miguel’s basketball conglomerate.
Raffy said he absolutely had no idea.
Through his representative Fernando Beltran, Juan Manuel Marquez has spoken.
“We would be willing to take a fifth fight with Manny Pacquiao,” Beltran told ESPN Desportes.com in Mexico City.
“Logically we’ll find what’s most lucrative for him. Juan Manuel Marquez and I are gentlemen and we know that Pacquiao gave us an opportunity and he didn’t have to and most probably we will give it to him.”
Top Rank spokesperson Fred Sternburg confirmed that Pacquiao-Marquez 4 was a huge financial success and as such, a fifth fight would be a “no brainer.”
“Most likely it will be scheduled to coincide with the celebration of Mexico’s Independence Day weekend.”
Sternburg said Arum will take Pacquiao to the Lou Ruvo Center of the Las Vegas Cleveland Clinic for further examination to make sure that he’s fine.
The clinic specializes in brain health, including diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinsons and Lou Gehrig syndrome.