Hoping to make its comeback a happy and successful one, Hapee Toothpaste has named former PBA star Ronnie Magsanoc as its head coach for the coming PBA D-League.
“We’re happy that Mr. Magsanoc has accepted the challenge to handle the team. Being one of the best minds in amateur basketball, we are proud to have him in the team,” said Hapee Toothpaste owner Dr. Cecilio Pedro.
With his vast experience in the PBA being a longtime assistant of Ryan Gregorio starting with Purefoods (now San Mig Super Coffee) before moving to Meralco, Magsanoc is expected to lead Hapee to another successful run after a five-year hiatus in the amateur league.
Hapee is taking the franchise of NLEX which has since moved up to the PBA after winning six of seven D-L conferences the past three years.
Hapee was one of the pillars during the glory days of the now-defunct Philippine Basketball League (PBL) in the 90s. In all, it won three titles in the PBL, the last was during the 2004 conference with Ateneo stars, led by Larry Fonacier, as the core of the team.
Backstopped by prolific import Tony Harris, Hapee also ruled the 1996 FIBA Asian Champions Cup – its biggest win so far.
Hapee Team Manager Bernard Yang said negotiation to get the services of Magsanoc was smooth and easy.
“Walang problema, mabait at desente kausap,” said Yang.
One of the reasons why Magsanoc accepted the job is that he will be reunited with some of San Beda College players. He guided the Red Lions to the NCAA championship two years ago – the first time he handled the team as head coach.
Aside from San Beda players like Baser Amer, Ola Adeogun, Art dela Cruz, Ryussei Koga, JP Mendoza and Michole Sorela, the team according to Pedro will be reinforced by former SBC star Garvo Laneta and Ateneo player Kirk Long.