PBA legend Vergel Meneses was designated head coach of EA Regen Medical group, a new team in the PBA Developmental League owned by Lubao Mayor Dennis Pineda, when the ballclub first saw action at the start of the conference.
In the last four Regen games, however, assistant coach Allan Trinidad, who is said to be very close to the owner, has been calling the shots for the Pampanga team, although there was no official notice from the PBA regarding the change in coaching staff.
But even if he no longer coaches actively, Vergel still sits on the Regen bench, although not in his usual place with the coaching staff, but on the far end where the utility boys are stationed.
Fans couldn’t help but wonder. Was Vergel demoted or did he voluntarily relinquish his post to give way to Trinidad, a familiar face in the amateur basketball scene?
From what I know, Trinidad had replaced Topex Robinson as coach of San Sebastian in the NCAA. I am not aware of the circumstances behind the takeover, but I was told it happened mid-tournament.
Ironically, despite Trinidad’s lack of credentials, compared to Vergel, who is also coach of the Jose Rizal U Heavy Bombers in the NCAA, Regen has won three out of four games under Trinidad.
The Pampanga team had a 2-2 card under Vergel.
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Unlike in the case of Regen, the change in the coaching staff of the Cagayan Rising Suns was official. The PBA announced the appointment of veteran coach Turo Valenzona as head coach of Cagayan, replacing the volatile Alvin Pua, son-in-law of the team owner, who is having much difficulty keeping his temper in check.
Perhaps the kind governor of Cagayan decided that Alvin had gotten into trouble with referees once too often, it was giving the team a bad name—not to mention that it was getting too costly to pay fines.
Alvin may get his job back, but not before he completes a course in anger management.
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Sometimes, the D-League can be more colorful and interesting than its professional counterpart.
Surely you’ve heard about the players of a championship contender who were “incarcerated” inside their locker room for two hours—their punishment for losing to a new and so-so team.
The team officials had left, and so had the coaching staff, but the players stayed inside the locker room.
Only after an entire game (following theirs) had been played were the losers allowed to leave their dugout at Ynares Center.