IS Jeff Napa returning to National University, this time as its new coach?
Napa, who is currently calling the shots for Centro Escolar University, is reportedly set to take over from Goldwin Monteverde at the helm of the Bulldogs.
He could not be reached for comment yesterday.
A rift over sponsorship and control of the team led to Monteverde’s stunning exit last Aug. 16, just nine months after he replaced coach Jamike Jarin last November.
Napa, also a deputy to coach Pido Jarencio at NorthPort in the pro league, was a member of Jarin’s brain thrust and coach Eric Altamirano’s staff when NU bagged its first title in 60 years in 2014 behind now pros Troy Rosario, Gelo Alolino, and Glenn Khobuntin and Cameroonian slotman Alfred Aroga.
A former Bulldogs gunner in the early 2000s, Napa won three titles in 2011, 2013, and 2016 while calling the shots for the Bullpups in the UAAP juniors’ play and also coached Letran from 2016 to 2018 in the NCAA.
Chico Manabat, Napa’s longtime assistant and the husband of volleyball star Dindin Santiago, is also reportedly set to be named as the new Bullpups coach.
If and when he gets the job, Napa has his work cut out for him.
In a shocking turn of events, NU high school standouts Carl Tamayo, Gerry Abadiano, and Kevin Quiambao left the school last Aug. 1, with the blessings of Monteverde, their coach at the high school ranks.
The 6-foot-7 Tamayo and 6-foot guard Abadiano transferred to University of the Philippines, while the 6-foot-8 Quiambao, a center, moved to La Salle.
The Sampaloc-based five also lost gunner Dave Ildefonso, who returned to Ateneo last January.
The Bulldogs failed to reach the Final Four in the last five seasons and wound up dead-last last year with a 2-12 card.
The likes of forward Shaun Ildefonso, older brother of Dave who chose to play his fifth and final year with the squad; guards John Lloyd Clemente and JV Gallego, and 6-foot-9 Senegalese center Issa Gaye are expected to lead NU’s charge in the 83rd UAAP basketball tournament.
The UAAP is eyeing to launch its new season, set to be hosted by La Salle, early next year with the country’s COVID-19 pandemic woes having no end in sight.