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Coach Boy out of UST; search is on

By Jerome Lagunzad

Seeking a new direction, University of Santo Tomas has decided to accept the resignation of Rodil “Boy” Sablan as its men’s basketball coach, putting an end to his two-year reign filled with struggles and misfortunes in the UAAP basketball tournament.

A reliable source confirmed the development yesterday, saying Sablan, along with his entire coaching staff, was already relieved of their coaching duties last Monday, more than a week since the Growling Tigers wound up dead-last in the UAAP Season 80.

Boy SablanAlthough they still have live contracts that will run until May next year, Sablan and his staff were already “bought out” since the UST management is eager to pick up the pieces and move on to a new path, according to the source.

The development wasn’t a big surprise after all as Sablan could only steer the Tigers, a perennial Final Four contender, to just four victories in 24 matches since he took over the coaching spot from Bong Dela Cruz.

Still one of the most winningest schools in UAAP history with 18 men’s cage titles, UST has plummeted down to the cellar in the last two years and suddenly turned into a laughingstock that caused some Tigers to lose most of their supporters.

Under Sablan, the Tigers endured 393 days without a victory since they dropped their last 17 matches spanning Seasons 79 and 80. UST only prevented complete ignominy by pulling off an 88-85 win over fellow struggler University of the East in the final day of elimination round last Nov. 12.

Despite his failure to turn things around, Sablan admitted he has done enough to instill to the Tigers the right character and true values that UST wants to impart.