MANILA, Philippines – UST is turning to a familiar face in the hopes that the Growling Tigers’ basketball winning culture gets back on track for UAAP Season 85 and beyond.
School alumnus Bal David is set to take over the post left by Jinino Manansala and currently handled by interim Ato Alocillo, per multiple reports.
The 49-year-old will have his first coaching gig after a 10-year career as a player with Barangay Ginebra, where he won two titles.
David is also very much familiar with winning in the collegiate ranks as he helped UST win two of four straight titles in 1994 and 1995.
The Tigers won two more titles in 1996 and 1997 to complete the four-peat, but David had since moved on to greener pastures at that point after being drafted by the Sunkist Orange Juicers in the 1995 PBA draft before settling with Ginebra.
Although David’s head coach signing with UST is not yet final – reportedly “all but signed” – one of his former UST teammates, Senator Joel Villanueva, said he is the “most fit and suitable” to take the job.
“I have known Bal for a long time. We played together in high school and then again in college for three years. I have seen with my own eyes how the difficulties of life transformed him into the person and the basketball player that he is,” Villanueva said in a released statement.
“Amidst the enormous hurdles that challenge the UST Tigers right now, Bal David is most fit and suitable for coaching the team. And what better way to make a comeback and make UST Tigers the force to reckon with once more than with Bal David at its helm!”
Once the signing is final, “The Flash” will be tasked to turn around a promising, but languishing program that only tallied a 3-11 record in this year’s UAAP Season 84.
Due to a controversial mid-pandemic player exodus, the Growling Tigers were left with a young roster in 2022 led by veteran holdover Sherwin Concepcion, key transferee Joshua Fontanilla, and mid-season revelation Nic Cabanero.
Now armed with reinforcements like 6-foot-7 Fil-Am Gani Stevens and 6-foot-3 American Willy Wilson, UST continues its quest to regain lost glory, and David may be the key that unlocks the Tigers’ potential moving forward. – Rappler.com