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PBA: Globalport fires coach

MIKEE RomeroManila, Philippines – One team is determined to change its course as far as its coaching staff is concerned, while another is keeping its own think tank intact – at least for the rest of the PBA 2014 Season.

This appears to be the story of two teams as Globalport seems to be on its way to another coaching change while multi-titled coach Ryan Gregorio will continue to call the shots for Meralco as the two teams prepare for next month’s import-flavored tournament Commissioner’s Cup.

Mikee Romero, the owner of Globalport hinted in a report by Spin.ph that his ball club is replacing interim mentor Ritchie Ticzon after one conference and the team is eyeing ex-pro Pido Jarencio, who is currently the coach of University of Santo Tomas Tigers.

A team insider confirmed yesterday that the Batang Pier have indeed tabbed the fiery Jarencio, who led UST to the UAAP championship in 2006 and twice second-placer the last two years.

“Pina-finalize pa lahat, pero yes we’ll have a new coach,” said the source who requested not to be named.

Ticzon was named as Globalport mentor in an interim capacity a few days before the start of the Philippine Cup, replacing Junel Baculi. Under the former PBA player, Ticzon guided the Batang Pier to a 5-9 record and clinched a quarterfinal playoff spot.

A foot injury (plantar fasciitis) to forward Jay Washington, however, hurt Globalport’s campaign as he missed the last two games, which they lost. The team dropped as the No. 7 seed after the eliminations and they lost to No. 2 Rain or Shine, 106-96, in the playoffs last Wednesday.

The 6-foot-7 Washington averaged 19.2 points and 9.9 rebounds in 12 games.

On the other hand, PBA Chairman Ramon Segismundo of Meralco clarified the reports that the Bolts are looking to replace Gregorio and that one possibility is to elevate assistant coach Jong Uichico.

“I don’t think it’s fair to think of something like that at this point. We want to constantly improve our team, but coaching is just one factor, just one element that will determine the team’s performance. So no, nothing like that that we are discussing,” said Segismundo.

There are rumors that Gregorio will be replaced after Meralco lost in the playoff game against Alaska for the No. 8 seed in the quarterfinal playoffs. The team, also plagued by injuries, finished with a 5-9 record. (WG)