TAKING over at the helm of a team that just fell apart, losing its coach amid allegations of violating the government’s strict COVID-19 health protocols, and losing seven quality players might not be a good idea, right?
Not in the case of University of Santo Tomas.
Former pro league resident star import Sean Chambers of Alaska and former pro playmaker Aries Dimaunahan have officially vied for the Growling Tigers coaching job after controversial coach Aldin Ayo resigned last Sept. 4.
Dimaunahan joined the likes of fellow UST alumni Bethune “Siot” Tanquingcen, Estong Ballesteros, Chris Cantonjos, Ed Cordero, Gilbert Lao, and Sebastian “Potit” De Vera among the hopefuls to replace Ayo.
Chambers is the second non-UST product after former PBA tactician and current Rain or Shine deputy Chris Gavina also applied for the coaching post.
Dimaunahan, 42, called the shots for Blackwater in an interim capacity last season and is now one of Nash Racela’s assistants.
He played for the Tigers’ team B in the 1990s and was drafted in the second round, 26th overall, by Ginebra in 2003.
Dimaunahan had a 10-year stint in the PBA with the Kings, Air21, Coca-Cola, Barako Bull, and the Aces before he tried his hand at coaching.
He served as deputy to coach Pat Aquino with the National University Lady Bulldogs and the Philippine women’s team.
Chambers, 55, is a household name in the PBA.
A one-time Best Import winner, Chambers helped Alaska win six titles in import-spiced tourneys in a 10-year stint capped by a Grand Slam in 1996.
Ayo was banned indefinitely by the UAAP last Sept. 9 over accusations that he brought his charges, mostly below 21 years old, to his hometown in Capuy, Sorsogon City and held a bubble training from mid-June to August.
Seven players have left the squad— former skipper CJ Cansino, who joined the Fighting Maroons, star forward Rhenz Abando, guard Brent Paraiso, and big man Ira Bataller.
Abando, Paraiso, and Bataller moved to defending NCAA champion Letran, while reserve guard Jun Asuncion went to Mapua University.
Reigning Rookie of the Year Mark Nonoy and guard Deo Cuajao packed their bags and moved to La Salle.