MANILA -- Arellano University on Thursday announced that Chico Manabat is taking over their basketball program.
The school formally welcomed the champion coach, who immediately buckled down to work on Thursday for his first practice at the helm.
"Malaking karangalan para sa akin ito na pinagkatiwalaan ako ng Arellano sa programa nila. Isa lang 'yung gusto natin, na maibalik ang Chiefs sa mga contenders sa NCAA," he said, agreeing to a long-term deal with school executives led by president Francisco Paulino Cayco and vice president for marketing Val Cayco.
Manabat, 44, is coming off a perfect season with the Centro Escolar University (CEU) and led the Scorpions to the UCBL crown.
"Different league ito kaya mas masusubukan 'yung capabilities ko. Pero same pa rin, dadalhin ko dito 'yung beliefs and system na nagpanalo sa atin sa CEU para mas mapadali 'yung rebuild natin dito," he said.
Manabat played collegiate basketball for National University (NU), and previously handled NU's high school program as well and coached in Grace Christian College as well. He was a longtime deputy of coach Jeff Napa in Colegio de San Juan de Letran.
He replaces Cholo Martin at the helm in the seniors team after Arellano ended with a 7-11 win-loss record this past NCAA Season 98.
The Chiefs will still have a solid crew led by Cade Flores, Axel Doromal, and Neil Tolentino for their upcoming campaign in NCAA Season 99 later this year.
"'Yung culture na bini-build natin dito is one that is like a family kasi 'yung family ipaglalaban 'yung isa't isa. Tiwala naman tayo sa players na lalaban tayo hanggang sa kaya natin pagdating ng NCAA," he said.
Joining Manabat's staff are Manny Dandan, John Necesito, Jun Cuevas, Max Encila, and Alex Calueng.
Aside from the seniors team, Manabat will also oversee the juniors team with Necesito replacing Junjie Ablan in leading the Braves.
Also part of his roster of coaches are Romo Austria, JP Magbitang, Paolo Atinaja, Rohlee Laovina, Benedick Pejo, and Joseph Santos, all of whom are former Bulldogs.