MANILA, Philippines – After 8 seasons of calling the shots for the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Growling Tigers in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP), fiery coach Pido Jarencio is leaving the Tigers to finally realize his longtime dream – to coach in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA).
Jarencio confirmed to Rappler that he already bid goodbye to UST and is moving on to coach the PBA’s Globalport Batang Pier.
He said he already informed UST officials of his decision and submitted letters to university Rector Very Rev. Fr. Herminio Dagohoy, O.P. as well as to Fr. Ermito de Sagon, O.P., Director of the Institute of Physical Education and Athletics.
As far as the future of the UST seniors men’s basketball team, Jarencio said he has recommended assistant coach Estong Ballesteros to take over as head coach. Though there has been no final decision yet as of posting time.
Jarencio also said his two-year contract with Globalport starts in February and he will begin practicing with the team next week. Jarencio will be replacing interim head coach Ritchie Ticzon, who steered Globalport to the quarterfinals of the 2013 PLDT Home DSL Philippine Cup before getting booted out by the twice-to-beat Rain or Shine Elasto Painters.
A team still building from the ground up and trying to shape its identity in the highly competitive league, Globalport is looking to pad on to the tremendous improvement they’ve shown in the Philippine Cup.
Jarencio admitted that he has yet to finalize his plans for his new team, but said that he will first take care of business in the coaching staff before making his decision on the players.
“Ayusin ko muna coaches then move na sa players,” he told Rappler. (I will take care of the coaches first then move to the players.)
As far as his import prospects for the import-laden mid-season Commissioner’s Cup, Jarencio said he is still on the lookout.
End of an era
Jarencio took on head coaching duties for the Growling Tigers in 2006 and, only in his rookie season, spearheaded the Tigers to its first championship in 10 years. He also led them to 3 Final Four appearances since then before having back-to-back Finals appearances in 2012 and 2013.
He also gave the Tigers their first taste of the Philippine Collegiate Champions League title in 2012, where Jarencio also won the Coach of the Year award.
The 49-year old former PBA player has long wanted to take on the coaching reins for a pro team. After the Tigers’ loss in the Finals against the Ateneo Blue Eagles in Season 75 (2012), Jarencio stated he was uncertain of whether or not he will stay with the Tigers.
He then nearly took a coaching job last year for a PBA team reportedly to be Barako Bull. But negotiations apparently fell through and Jarencio stayed with UST for another year, where he led them yet again to the Finals but this time lost to the DLSU Green Archers in the most recent UAAP Season 76 (2013).
In the 8 years he spent with the Tigers, UST students and alumni have grown fond of the animated coach. His departure marks the end of an era for one of the most well-loved UST coaches.
Jarencio said it’s a bittersweet feeling to finally be able to live his dream, yet leave behind a team and community he has long been a part of.
He held his last practice with the Growling Tigers on Saturday, January 25.
“Masaya at may halo lungkot,” he said. “Mahihiwalay na ko sa UST.” (I’m happy but also sad. I’m no longer going to be with UST.) – Rappler.com