By WAYLON GALVEZ
Manila, Philippines – Is Petron Blaze up for another coaching change?
The social networking sites were abuzz with speculations of a possible change in the Petron coaching staff after the Boosters were booted out of the playoffs in the 2014 PLDT myDSL PBA Philippine Cup.
According to various sources, former PBA player and current Petron assistant coach Biboy Ravanes is set to replace Gee Abanilla, who has led the team to a Finals stint in the Governors’ Cup in his very first conference as coach last season.
However, a source said the set-up of elevating Ravanes as mentor is likely to be similar to the one the team had when Olsen Racela was named as coach last season in the Philippine Cup and former national team bench tactician Rajko Toroman of Serbia served as consultant with an active role.
American head coach Todd Purves has been the team consultant for Petron since the Governors’ Cup.
The plan this time is to give him a more active role like the one Toroman had with the Boosters, as he and Ravanes will jointly coach the team in the Commissioner’s Cup.
Another source said that San Miguel Corporation’s top basketball officials are discussing the matter.
Ravanes, 55, played 15 seasons in the PBA, first with Shell, then Alaska and lastly with San Miguel Beer from 1980 to 1994. He has career averages of 6.5 points and has a reputation of a defensive specialist.
On the other hand, Purves was the coach of the Indonesia Warriors that won the 2012 ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) title against San Miguel Beermen under the late coach Bobby Parks, and lost to the same team last year with coach Leo Austria, who is also an assistant coach with Petron Blaze.
Abanilla, who took over from Racela prior to the Governors’ Cup, will remain with the Petron coaching staff. The Boosters opened with a 7-0 record in the all-Filipino conference but finished with a 10-4 card in the elimination round.
They lost in the best-of-seven semifinals, 4-1, to Rain or Shine.