Tan set to join Letran as new coach in National Collegiate Athletic Association

January 23, 2019
Stanley Pringle
New PBA scoring champion Stanley Pringle (middle) poses with NorthPort Batang Pier officials -- team manager Bonnie Tan, Erick Arejola, assistant manager Waiyip Chong and coach Pido Jarencio during the PBA Press Corps. Awards Night at Novotel Hotel in Cubao.

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.