By Jerome Lagunzad
Aldin Ayo as University of Santo Tomas’ next coach? Not so fast.
According to an ever-reliable source, former Lyceum tactician Bonnie Tan has emerged as a strong contender to fill in the Growling Tigers’ coaching vacancy following the resignation of Rodil “Boy” Sablan early this week.
Tan, who is serving as the team manager of GlobalPort Batang Pier in the pros, has already expressed his desire for the vacant UST job in what could be his collegiate coaching comeback after leaving the Pirates’ post in 2014.
If and when he secures the position, Tan could also bring with him former UST great and mentor Pido Jarencio, who led the Growling Tigers to the Promised Land in 2006, as part of his coaching staff since they’ve been working hand-in-hand at the Batang Pier camp and in the fledging Metro Basketball Tournament.
The development should quell rumors about Ayo possibly leaving the Green Archers at the end of the UAAP Season 80 basketball tourney and turning the fortunes around of the Growling Tigers who’ve been in dire straits for the past two years under Sablan.
The same source said La Salle management has maintained a “status quo” since Ayo and the Green Archers are in deep preparations ahead of their best-of-three titular showdown against the Ateneo Blue Eagles starting today at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Over at University of the East, former Tanduay assistant coach Mac Tan has also cropped up as a potential replacement of veteran mentor Derrick Pumaren.
Tan, who once suited up for Hapee Toothpaste in the defunct PBL and is set to call the shots for Tanduay in the upcoming Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League, has joined former UE great Allan Caidic as top candidates for the coveted position.
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