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Is an NCAA champion coach set to take a page out of Aldin Ayo and bring his act to the UAAP next season?
Jamike Jarin is likely to become the new coach of the National University Bulldogs, more than two months after he helped the San Beda Red Lions regain the NCAA title with a sweep of the Arellano University Chiefs in the best-of-three finals.
No confirmation has been announced by both schools, but a source said that Jarin had already said goodbye to his players, thus paving the way for a short move from the Mendiola campus to Sampaloc.
Jarin’s apparent takeover of the Bulldogs may set the stage for the return of Boyet Fernandez to the Red Lions camp.
Fernandez has been out of work after the NLEX Road Warriors hired Yeng Guiao as their new coach in the ongoing PBA season.
The same source said Fernandez’s return looked to be a mere formality after being appointed as coach of Cignal in the PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup which opens on Jan. 19.
Cignal is said to be fielding in a core that is composed mostly of players from the Red Lions.
NU has yet to confirm the appointment at presstime, but Jarin may become the second coach to jump ship to the UAAP after winning the NCAA crown.
Ayo did the same route last year, when after helping his alma mater Letran beat Jarin and San Beda in the finals, made a stunning transfer to La Salle.
The muscular mentor brought his trademark “Mayhem” defense with success, as the Green Archers won all but one game to capture the UAAP championship via a sweep of the archrival Ateneo Blue Eagles in the finals.
Jarin is one of many coaches who were linked to the NU post vacated by Eric Altamirano, who led the Bulldogs to the 2014 championship but left the team after this season following a disappointing 5-9 record.
Former NCAA champion coaches Frankie Lim and Louie Alas surfaced as one of the candidates, while NU women’s basketball mentor Pat Aquino was endorsed by Dioseldo Sy, the Lady Bulldogs team manager, to NU owner Hans Sy.
Also named by online reports was Jeff Napa, the former NU juniors’ tactician who became Ayo’s successor at Letran.
While Napa had a strong chance of taking the post, NU’s top execs were more interested in tapping Jarin, who had plenty of success even before joining San Beda in 2014.
Jarin led the Ateneo Blue Eaglets to numerous UAAP juniors title, and coached Batang Gilas to an appearance in the 2014 FIBA U-17 World Championship.