After his stint with the controversial Makati team, Cholo Villanueva is making his way back to the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) as he has been tapped as the new chief tactician of Manila starting with the preseason tournament on December 11.
Villanueva is not new in coaching in the league as he was the former mentor of the Makati Super Crunch, before having a falling out with the management of the squad.
It can be recalled that Villanueva and some of his key players, such as ex-pros Simon Atkins, Rudy Lingganay, Jeckster Apinan, and Josh Torralba, decided not to show up in the team’s game against the Bacoor Strikers in Cebu to protest against the team's management, which had gone in a different direction.
Management told the media that they are doing some load management, preventing the players from playing in the game which did not sit well with Villanueva and his wards.
Villanueva then joined the Pampanga Giant Lanterns to assist former PBA coach and veteran mentor Bong Ramos.
As a player, Villanueva was a UAAP Finals MVP before entering the PBA in 2008 where he was selected 13th pick overall by Air21, but his playing stint was short-lived.
He immediately embarked into coaching where he became a member of the coaching staff of Air21, Jose Rizal University Heavy Bombers, and GlobalPort Batang Pier. He also served as head coach of the De La Salle University Lady Archers in the UAAP.