Rigodon of coaches under MVP wing on
Jong Uichico, who won all eight of his PBA titles calling the shots for different San Miguel Corp. teams, will be back as head coach of Talk ‘N Text when the coaching rigodon among the PLDT squads is made official before the end of this week.
Norman Black, meanwhile, will be leaving the Tropang Texters to handle a Meralco Bolts squad that underachieved in four years under another multititled coach in Ryan Gregorio.
The shuffling of coaches was reported by Inquirer.net late Tuesday night.
Gregorio will take a breather from coaching to concentrate on his corporate post at Meralco even as Boyet Fernandez will most likely handle the third Manny V. Pangilinan squad, NLEX, after kinks with San Beda in the NCAA are ironed out.
Fernandez coached the Road Warriors to six titles in the PBA D-League. PBA rules prohibit head coaches from coaching in other leagues so Fernandez will have to quit his San Beda post to tab the NLEX gig.
The NCAA opened two weeks ago with the Red Lions gunning for a fifth straight crown. NLEX management is expected to meet San Beda officials for a possible compromise.
NLEX bought the Air21 franchise some two weeks ago and will be having the core of the Express led by the ageless Asi Taulava, Mac Cardona and Jonas Villanueva.
The Road Warriors won all but one of the first seven conferences of the D-League before making the jump to the pro ranks.
Greg Slaughter and Ian Sangalang, who were 1-2 in the last rookie Draft, Chris Ellis, Cliff Hodge and former Rookie of the Year winner Calvin Abueva, who are now all stars in the PBA, saw action for NLEX in the D-League under Fernandez.
Only Blackwater, which will also debut in the PBA when the next season opens on Oct. 19, was able to break the NLEX stranglehold by winning the 2013 Foundation Cup.
Uichico steered San Miguel Beer and Ginebra San Miguel to championships before leaving the organization several years ago to serve as Gregorio’s assistant at Meralco.
He found his way to Talk ‘N Text at the start of the year reportedly after not seeing eye-to-eye with Gregorio in the latter part of their partnership. And with the Texters failing to meet expectations under Black, he was the logical choice for the job.
Uichico is an astute student of the ailing Ron Jacobs, the man who built the Northern Cement squad that represented the Philippines in international events and won a PBA title as a guest team by sweeping the defunct Manila Beer in the 1985 Third Conference.
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