MANILA, Philippines – University of Sto. Tomas (UST) head coach Pido Jarencio will reportedly leave the Growling Tigers to take on a coaching job at the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA).
In a report on the PBA's official website, Snow Badua quoted Jarencio as saying that he will make his final decision by the second week of January.
"Hindi pa naman ako nakakapag-decide pero siguro second week of January. Doon tayo magde-decide kung ano ang future natin kung saan tayo pupunta," Jarencio said.
Jarencio, who is currently an assistant coach with the San Miguel Beermen in the ASEAN Basketball League, is reportedly being eyed by three teams.
"Sasabihin ko pag-OK na," Jarencio said. "Pero definitely, sa PBA 'yun."
"Hindi ko naman iiwan ang UST ng ganun-ganun na lang. Saka matagal ko nang pangarap mag-PBA coach. Pakiramdam ko overdue na tayo," he added
Jarencio steered the Growling Tigers to a UAAP title in Season 69 in his first year as head coach. He led the team to the Finals again this year, but they fell to the Ateneo Blue Eagles in two games. They got a measure of revenge when they defeated Ateneo in the finals of the Philippine Collegiate Champions League.
"Pitong taon na tayo roon, baka sabihin naman ng iba, masyado na tayong swapang," Jarencio said. "Saka maganda na accomplishment natin doon. Naayos ka na 'yung team na 'yun. Solid na 'yun kaya kahit sino umupo doon, okay na 'yun."
Badua reported that Jarencio may be endorsing assistant coaches Estong Ballesteros or Senen Duenas to take his spot.
"Marami rin namang magagaling diyan. Pero may na-endorse na akong coaches na pwedeng mag-tuloy nung sistema ko," he said.
Jarencio will leave behind a team that remains one of the top contenders for the UAAP Season 76 men's basketball championship. Big man Karim Abdul, versatile forward Aljon Mariano and top gunner Jeric Teng will all still play for the Tigers next season.