Chico Manabat named Arellano men’s basketball coach
MANILA, Philippines — Arellano has appointed Chico Manabat as the new men’s basketball team head coach ahead of NCAA Season 99.
Manabat was formally introduced to the Chiefs on Thursday and buckled down to work right away with his first training session.
Arellano said the 44-year-old coach agreed to a long-term deal with school executives led by president Francisco Paulino Cayco and vice president for marketing Val Cayco.
“It’s a huge honor for me to be trusted by Arellano in handling their program,” said Manabat in Filipino. “The only thing I want is to bring back the Chiefs as a contender in the NCAA.”
He is replacing Cholo Martin after Arellano ended with a 7-11 record in Season 98 last year.
Manabat, who is the husband of volleyball star Dindin Santiago-Manabat, is coming off a perfect championship run with Centro Escolar University in the UCBL.
“This is a different league, which will test my capabilities. But I will still bring my beliefs and system that helped CEU win so it will be easier to rebuild this team,” said the former NU Bulldog, who previously handled head coaching positions for the Nazareth School and Grace Christian College.
Manabat is no longer a stranger to the NCAA as he served as the longtime deputy of former Letran coach Jeff Napa.
The new Chiefs coach will inherit an intact line-up led by Cade Flores, Axel Doromal, and Neil Tolentino.
“The culture that we’re building here is one that is like a family. Because a family fights for each other. I trust the players that we will fight when the NCAA returns,” he said.
His coaching staff is composed of Manny Dandan, John Necesito, Jun Cuevas, Max Encila, and Alex Calueng.
Manabat will also oversee the juniors program with his assistant Necesito replacing Junjie Ablan in leading the Braves.
Also part of his roster of coaches are Romo Austria, JP Magbitang, Paolo Atinaja, Rohlee Laovina, Benedick Pejo, and Joseph Santos, all of whom are former Bulldogs.
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