Globalport gambles on untested head coach
GLOBALPORT settled for an untested first-timer as head coach, appointing former sweet-shooting guard Richie Ticzon to handle the Batang Pier on an interim basis when the 39th PBA season opens with the Philippine Cup on Sunday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Batang Pier management tabbed the former standout of the defunct Formula Shell franchise after talks with its earlier choices bogged down.
The team wanted Alaska assistant Alex Compton to coach the squad but Aces team owner Wilfred Steven Uytengsu, in a phone interview with the Inquirer, said: “I think Alex is happy where he is.”
Globalport had also asked San Mig Coffee assistant coach Olsen Racela if he was interested but sources said the former Petron head coach turned down the offer a day after the Mixers won the Governors’ Cup. A few days later, Globalport initiated talks with Racela’s brother, FEU head coach Nash, who also turned the offer down.
Ticzon was an assistant to Nash Racela at Far Eastern and will be coaching for the first time in the PBA.
Baculi called the shots for Globalport in the last two conferences, steering the Batang Pier to the quarterfinals of the Governors’ Cup.
A team insider said on Thursday that owner Mikee Romero was dissatisfied with Baculi’s performance, with the coach’s fate sealed when he was thrown out in the quarterfinals against Rain or Shine.
Ticzon inherits a team that will have material that Baculi never had as Globalport went on a massive rebuilding spree by tapping three first-rounders in the Draft and trading away veterans Gary David and Willie Miller.
With former UAAP MVPs Terrence Romeo and RR Garcia joining Sol Mercado, the Batang Pier will have arguably the deadliest backcourt in the Philippine Cup.
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