Vanguardia puts premium on hard work as he takes over Phoenix
On the day news of his hiring as the new head coach of Phoenix broke, Ariel Vanguardia had an intimate talk with each and every player in his team.
Vanguardia is taking over the Fuel Masters in the latter part of the season, replacing Koy Banal, and his message was simple: Your hard work will pay off.
“Their hard work will be rewarded,” Vanguardia told INQUIRER.net, sharing what said to his players the first time they met. “I cannot be equal to everyone but I will be fair.”
“I’ve spoken 1 on 1 with all players and they’ve been very enthusiastic in practice,” he said. “We already started practice on June 1.”
The Fuel Masters went just 3-8, finishing second to the last in the previous conference. But whatever happened in the Commissioner’s Cup will have to be put behind as far as Vanguardia is concerned.
“Everybody is starting from zero,” he said.
Vanguardia isn’t the only new face Phoenix will be parading in the Governors’ Cup next month.
Phoenix was part of the six-team deal last month. The Fuel Masters sent away Rodney Brondial, RR Garcia, Emman Monfort, Mac Baracael and got Mark Cruz, Norbert Torres and Jonathan Uyloan.
In a separate move, Phoenix traded James Forrester for John Wilson, a player very familiar with Vanguardia.
Wilson was the star of a Jose Rizal University squad in the NCAA handled by Vanguardia.
“In a way, John Wilson and most of the players we have right now are very similar, they all got something to prove,” he said.
“It’s molding that hunger to work together in a team concept is really where the hard work starts.”