Clarence Esteban named new Chery Tiggo head coach
MANILA, Philippines — Clarence Esteban has been named as Chery Tiggo’s new head coach, replacing 2021 Open Conference champion mentor Aaron Velez.
The team announced the big development with Esteban, a former assistant coach at BaliPure, taking over the coaching reins for the Crossovers, who failed to defend their crown and fell to a disappointing eighth place finish in the Premier Volleyball League 2022 Open Conference.
Chery Tiggo, however, didn’t mention the reason behind the coaching change. Inquirer sought for comments from Valdez, the who called the shots from 2018 until this year’s first tournament, but he has yet to respond as of posting time.
The Crossovers had an underwhelming Open Conference campaign, starting 1-3 in the pool stage, losing to eventual champion Creamline in the quarterfinals and yielded to cellar-dweller BaliPure in the classification.
Esteban, the head coach of University of Santo Tomas boys’ volleyball team and Tigresses’ assistant coach, admitted that calling the shots for a champion team is not a walk in the park.
But he promises to repay Chery Tiggo’s trust by fulfilling the team’s goal to bounce back and regain its lost glory, amid the pressure and great responsibility.
“Being the new head coach of Chery Tiggo is very challenging. I’m really thankful to the management for trusting us, coaches, to lead and guide this team,” Esteban said in a statement. “We are excited to handle a champion team.”
Although this will be his first professional stint as head coach, the current Mapua women’s coach is no longer a stranger in Philippine volleyball as he once called the shots for Philippine Air Force and previously worked as trainer of the men’s national team and U23 women’s volleyball squad.
The former Tiger Spiker also had a storied career as a player winning the MVP and Best Blocker in UAAP Season 73 and suiting up for the Philippine men’s volleyball team in 2000-2009.
Aside from Esteban’s appointment, Yani Fernandez is coming home as the Crossovers’ assistant coach for the first time since Foton’s 2015 Philippine Superliga Grand Prix title run, joining the team’s longtime deputy Brian Esquibel, trainer Robertly Boto and strength and conditioning coach Kevin Sto. Tomas Villegas.
Rebuild and reorganize
The first order of business for Esteban and Co. is is to rebuild and organize the team, led by Japan V.League Best Blocker and PVL 2021 MVP Jaja Santiago and Thai league imports Dindin Santiago-Manabat and Mylene Paat.
“Expect us to give our very best to rebuild and organize the team for us to achieve our goal in the next tournament,” the University of Santo Tomas assistant coach said.
“We’re planning to improve the skills and abilities of the players. We want them to play as a team and we will instill the importance of the role of each individual inside the court.”
“We’re focused on regaining the crown for the next tournament.”
Esteban is set for his first pro debut as head coach in the PVL Asian Invitational Conference in July.
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