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PBA: Where’s Cariaso headed to?

Jeff CariasoManila, Philippines – Jeffrey Cariaso, the embattled Barangay Ginebra San Miguel coach, got the call on Tuesday.

Kings assistant coach Ato Agustin’s phone could ring next.

A source said yesterday that Cariaso received confirmation two days ago of the long-rumored coaching shakeup within Ginebra, putting an end to speculations which surfaced more than a week ago.

Details of the conversation were unavailable however.

The development could pave the way for the return of Agustin, the 1992 MVP, to his former job after sliding down to assistant coach when Cariaso took over prior to last season’s Governors’ Cup.

No other name has been mentioned as a potential successor to Cariaso, who came aboard from San Mig Super Coffee (now Purefoods) after the 2014 Commissioner’s Cup.

Agustin, who won a championship with Petron Blaze as its coach in 2011, led Ginebra to the 2014 Philippine Cup semifinals, losing to San Mig Super Coffee in Game 7. Cariaso was an assistant to coach Tim Cone in that San Mig team.

Multiple reports, including from the Bulletin, quoted team insiders as saying Cariaso’s departure after two conferences with the Kings was a done deal, with management set to make an official announcement on Jan. 5, the first day of practice.

The leaks preempted any formal statement however.

Neither Cariaso nor Agustin was available for comment.

Cariaso’s next destination is uncertain although it isn’t likely he will stay on with Ginebra, which is reportedly looking for an assistant coach to fill the position Agustin will be vacating in the eventuality.

Reuniting with Cone at Purefoods could be more appealing to the 1995 Rookie of the Year although that has yet to be discussed by top level management, which has the final say on all SMC team matters, including coaching changes and trades.

“Pag-uusapan pa nila yan sa taas,” the source said.

Among those being considered for the post of assistant coach is former San Beda Red Lions coach Frankie Lim.