FOUR years after parting ways with Lyceum of the Philippines in the NCAA and keeping his focus as team manager of NorthPort Batang Pier in the PBA, coach Bonnie Tan is returning to his first love -- coaching.
This time, Tan will call the shots for Letran College.
Tan is set to take over the Intramuros-based team starting with the 2019 PBA D-League on Feb. 14 and the NCAA Season 95 later this year.
Although there is no formal announcement yet from Letran, reports of Tan’s impending appointment as new Letran coach was already reported in several social media sites.
The news also came after Letran announced its decision not to renew the three-year contract of coach Jeff Napa and thanked him for his contributions to the team for the past three seasons.
“The community of Colegio de San Juan de Letran expresses its heartfelt gratitude to Jeff Napa, head coach of the Letran men’s basketball team, for the past three NCAA seasons. With the expiration of his contract, Letran acknowledges his most valuable contributions to the team in forming our student-athletes and building our winning culture, especially according to the ideals of the school ,” the statement said.
“We wish Coach Jeff our best prayers for the future,” the same Letran statement added.
Letran also confirmed the formation of a search committee, headed by Special Assistant to the Rector for Sports Development Alfrancis Chua, to find the next Letran coach.
Chua is a close friend and associate of Tan dating back to their playing days at Grace Christian College.
Tan, who is also the tournament director of the PBA-supported Metro League basketball tournament, is a perfect fit for Letran.
The 44-year-old coach has also served as team manager of Letran last season, along with another friend Waiyip Chong.
Tan also served as head coach of Lyceum for 11 years from 2003 until 2014, winning several ISAA and MBL titles.
He was also largely instrumental in helping the school enter the NCAA in 2011.
Tan is expected to match, if not surpass, the Knights’ third-place finish last year with a lineup built around Bong Quinto and JP Calvo, now both in the PBA.
He will work with another solid line-up bannered by last year’s Rookie of t he Year awardee Larry Muyang, Jeo Ambohot, Christian Fajarito, Jerrick Balanza, Bonbon Natiller and Jordan Sta. Ana.
The Knights last won the NCAA title in 2015 under Aldin Ayo, who is now with UST in the UAAP.
Napa remains part of the coaching staff of the Batang Pier.