Chico Manabat appointed CEU coach
MANILA, Philippines—Chico Manabat is set to take over the head coaching job at Centro Escolar University heading into the new season of the National Capital Region Athletic Association.
According to reports, the once assistant will replace former chief Jeff Napa at the Scorpions’ bench. It will be his second stint as a head coach after previously handling Grace Christian College.
“He said to me then, ‘It time that you step out of your shadow as a Robin. I recommended you to the bosses of CEU,’” said Manabat in an ESPN report. “Of course, I’m still relatively young in a situation like this, but it seems that I’m older based on the things me and coach Jeff had gone through.”
Manabat has shadowed Napa since the pair were still in charge of the National University Bullpups where they led the team to three UAAP juniors titles.
He then followed his friend to Learn in the NCAA and has been an assistant at CEU during Napa’s short tenure.
“We got players that I had handled before like former Bullpups and Team B players in NU that want to have a break. We currently don’t have a foreign student-athlete but we are working on it,” said Manabat, who is married to volleyball star Dindin Santiago-Manabat.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Manabat said that his main focus will be developing his players’ attitudes and study habits.
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