MANILA, Philippines - De La Salle University has officially announced the appointment of Gee Abanilla as the new head coach of the De La Salle Green Archers.
La Salle sports blog Go Archers confirmed that Abanilla has been hired as the head coach, with long-time PBA coach Jong Uichico as a team consultant.
Abanilla was a member of the Green Archers' back-to-back championship teams in 1989 and 1990 and became an assistant coach in La Salle under Franz Pumaren.
He will replace Dindo Pumaren, who resigned last month after the Green Archers sputtered to a 6th place finish in the UAAP Season 74.
InboundPass columnist Mike Abasolo said Abanilla will be a "welcome change" for the Green Archers.
"Gee will have big shoes to fill. He's filling in a legacy that has been glorified, the Pumaren family," Abasolo said in an interview with ANC's Top Story.
"I'm not saying Gee Abanilla is not a capable coach. He's been around, he's an excellent assistant. With the College of St. Benilde Blazers in the NCAA, he really performed well," Abasolo said.
Abanilla will most likely install major changes in the La Salle basketball system, which has been playing under the Pumaren style for several years now.
With Abanilla at the helm, the Green Archers will still be a defensive team but will no longer run the full-court pressure defense that has been their trademark.
"This will be a major change for the Green Archers," Abasolo said. "You will see a more different approach."
Abasolo acknowledged that La Salle may experience some difficulty as they will have to learn Abanilla's system of play, but "positive effects" can be expected from the team during next month's Philippine Collegiate Championship League. -- With a report from ANC