MANILA, Philippines – Can Koy Banal be the one to snap the University of the East Red Warriors’ 31-year title drought? Banal certainly thinks so.
In an interview with ABS-CBN Sports, the current head coach of Marinerong Pilipino PBA D-League squad has thrown in his name for consideration. “I’ve submitted my application to them,” he said.
“UE is on a 31-year title drought. I’ve done it with San Beda after a 28-year title drought,” said Banal, a former UAAP and NCAA champion head coach. “I know what to do and how to do it.”
If hired, Banal’s entry to UE gives not one, but two benefits to the struggling program. One, his championship mettle may be key to reviving UE’s championship pedigree. After all, UE is still tied with the University of Santo Tomas (UST) for the second-most UAAP men’s basketball championships at 18.
Two, as current Marinerong Pilipino head coach, Banal will get to spend time with prized UE star and Marinerong Pilipino’s 19th overall pick Alvin Pasaol, who has remained silent on whether he’ll return to the team after Derrick Pumaren resigned. Pasaol has formed a father-and-son-like bond with Pumaren, and Banal’s interaction with him will likely influence his decision to stay.
Banal had led a young Arwind Santos to a title with Far Eastern University (FEU) in 2003 and received another in 2004 after De La Salle University (DLSU) was stripped of the honor due to a player eligibility scandal. He then led San Beda College in the NCAA to a title in his first full season in 2006, ending their drought. Even after his firing the very next year, San Beda completed a three-peat championship run from 2006-2008 and has since morphed into the title-collecting powerhouse it is today.
He has also tried his hand in professional basketball, serving as the chief tactician of the PBA’s Barako Bull Energy from 2014-2016 and the Phoenix Fuel Masters in 2016. – Rappler.com