Flores gets back slot as Tams coach
Jasmine W. Payo
First Posted 01:42:44 13/02/2011
Filed Under: UAAP, FEU Tamaraws, Bert Flores, Glenn Capacio, Jorge Gallent, Anton Montinola, RR Garcia
MANILA---The last coach to steer Far Eastern University to the UAAP championship is back at the helm.
Bert Flores, who mentored the 2005 champion squad powered by Arwind Santos, hopes to bring his winning touch anew this season when the Tamaraws go for another shot at the men’s basketball crown.
Flores will be assisted by former pro standouts Johnny Abarrientos, Victor Pablo and Richie Ticzon. Jorge Gallent, the head coach of B-Meg Derby Ace Llamados, will act as consultant. “We put utmost importance on team chemistry,” Anton Montinola, FEU’s representative to the UAAP board, told the Inquirer yesterday. “We feel that with five personalities, there will be much better rapport among the coaches and the players.” Flores, who was appointed last Friday, took over from Glenn Capacio after serving as consultant for five seasons. Capacio resigned last October, just weeks after the title-favorite Tamaraws surprisingly got swept by the Ateneo Blue Eagles in two games in the UAAP Finals. “We have to bring back our defensive game,” said Flores yesterday. “The past FEU champion teams won mainly because of defense.” Flores, who played in the 1991 and 1992 champion FEU team led by Abarrientos, also served as an assistant to Koy Banal in the Tamaraws’ title run from 2003 to 2005. “There are a lot of strong teams this year,” said the 42-year-old Flores. “But we’ll still try to be a Final Four contender.” Flores is the fourth new UAAP coach appointed in the last three months after Ricky Dandan (University of the Philippines), Eric Altamirano (National University) and Jerry Codiñera (University of the East). Montinola said the decision was made “with close guidance” from Gallent, an alumnus. Flores’ coaching term and other contract details remain “under discussion.” “We feel that with only five months to go before the UAAP, we must put the group together and start serious preparation,” said Montinola. Flores said Abarrientos will focus on the point guards, while Pablo will train the big men.
“We have a set of young coaches,” said Montinola. “They come from the same batch (early ’90s), they know each other well and share the same coaching philosophy. But each coach will focus on specific areas of responsibility.”
The Tamaraws remain a formidable contender this year with a roster led by reigning UAAP Most Valuable Player RR Garcia and last season’s top rookie Terrence Romeo.