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New coaches in Filoil Flying V Premier Cup spotlight
by rick olivares
The summer basketball leagues are oft about the rookies paraded by the participating teams. However, on Opening day for the 10th staging of the Filoil Flying V Premier Cup this April 30, it will also be about the new faces calling the shots.
In Group A of the seniors division, two coaches will be making their school debut — Edgar Macaraya with San Sebastian and Bo Perasol with the University of the Philippines. It should be noted that both played for their respective teams during their collegiate playing years.
Macaraya was a part of those great Stags teams of the 1980s that included Paul Alvarez, Eugene Quilban, and Melchor Teves among others. The deadeye shooter played for Magnolia and Triple V in the now defunct Philippine Amateur Basketball League and with Swift’s and Sta. Lucia in the PBA. Most recently, Macaraya piloted the Centro Escolar University Scorpions to three consecutive NAASCU championships from 2013-15. He also piloted the Cafe France Bakers to the D-League Foundation Cup during the 2014-15 season.
Perasol, most recently head coach of the Ateneo Blue Eagles from 2013-15, returns to UP to take over from Rensy Bajar. Perasol played for the Fighting Maroons from 1990-94. During his three-year stint with Ateneo, Perasol compiled a 27-18 and led the Blue Eagles to two Final Four appearances where they fell to the eventual champions, NU and FEU respectively in the last two campaigns.
Over at Group B, taking over the Adamson Falcons is new head coach Franz Pumaren who inherits a talented but young squad from interim head coach Mike Fermin. Pumaren, who won five UAAP titles with La Salle looks to bring his brand of pressure defense and recruiting savvy to the San Marcelino side.
National team head coach Tab Baldwin takes over from Perasol over at Ateneo where he hopes to bring his wealth of experience and knowledge to a young Ateneo team that begins the new season without any remnants from its five-peats squads from 2008-12. Kiefer Ravena, Von Pessumal, and Gwyne Capacio were the last holdovers from those title teams.
De La Salle will not only finally get to parade much ballyhooed African Ben Mbala but also a new coach in Aldin Ayo who led Letran to the NCAA title last season. Ayo will be the first non-La Salle alumnus to coach the team since Pilo Pumaren left UE for Taft in the early 1980s. He also won a championship while playing for Letran.
Taking over as Letran’s coach is former NU Bullpups head coach and Bulldogs player Jeff Napa who steered the former to three UAAP Juniors championships including the Season 78 crown that was annexed at the expense of the De La Salle Zobel Junior Archers. Napa hopes to continue the smothering defensive style of Letran; one that they also played at NU.
“It would be interesting to see the impact of these coaches in their new setting,” said Filoil Flying V Premier Cup Commissioner Renato “Ato” Badolato. “I think the quality of the coaches now in the amateur ranks will certainly improve the level of the games and make their different leagues very exciting. It’s also good that the fans pay some attention to the coaches and not just the players.”
The 10th staging of the Filoil Flying V Premier Cup tips off at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan (formerly the San Juan Arena) this coming April 30, 2016. Tickets may be purchased at the gate or at SM Ticketnet branches.