SMC coaches eyed for La Salle head coach job
MANILA, Philippines—The talks have yet to materialize, but former La Salle assistant coach and current Petron Blaze deputy Gee Abanilla remains willing to coach the Green Archers in the next UAAP men’s basketball season.
Abanilla, a former playmaker for La Salle in the ’90s, said he has yet to be approached by any member of the school’s basketball program review committee, which was formed following the recent resignation of Dindo Pumaren as head coach.
“Nobody has talked to me, honestly,” said Abanilla, who once served as assistant to Franz Pumaren at the Archers’ bench. “But it would be a great honor for me to coach my alma mater.”
Abanilla and Barangay Ginebra co-coach Jong Uichico are the current frontrunners for the La Salle post, although the multititled Uichico, who already had a stint as chief tactician of the Archers, had already hinted that he was through with college basketball.
Others also being considered are current Barangay Ginebra assistant Juno Sauler and B-Meg deputy Richard Del Rosario. Those coaches belong to the San Miguel Corp. group in the PBA and sources said the giant food and beverage conglomerate won’t stand in the way if one is appointed La Salle head coach.
Alaska’s Dickie Bachmann is also being eyed.
In an official statement, La Salle said it accepted the resignation of Pumaren—who quit along with assistants Tonichi Yturri, Jack Santiago and Lawrence Yulo—“with deep regret.”
The school immediately formed a committee, chaired by La Salle vice chancellor for Lasallian mission and alumni relations Br. Bernie Oca FSC, to “chart the direction” of the team.
In women’s basketball, meanwhile, Adamson defending champion Adamson nailed the first title berth by ousting University of Santo Tomas, 53-45 while La Salle forged winner-take-all versus the top-seeded Far Eastern University, 57-54, in Thursday’s Final Four at the Blue Eagle Gym.
In juniors action, lower-ranked squads extended the series to a pair of do-or-die duels as Ateneo downed the No. 1 FEU, 62-53, while National U drubbed No. 2 La Salle Zobel, 66-52.
Over at the Big Dome Saturday, the league’s annual crowd-pleaser gets going with the UP Pep Squad aiming for back-to-back crowns in the cheerdance competition.
The UST Salinggawi Dance Troupe owns the most number of crowns with eight, but last won during in 2006.
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