Bo Perasol now takes a U-turn back to Katipunan.
With telecommunications mogul Manny V. Pangilinan and the Ateneo top brass set to kiss and make up after their stunning fall-out, Perasol is set to assume the head coaching job of the Blue Eagles.
Ateneo officials, led by president Fr. Jett Villarin, SJ, are expected to release an official announcement on Monday.
A former University of the Philippine stalwart, Perasol and the Ateneo officials initially inked a three-year deal a couple of months ago, assuring a smooth transition with Norman Black set to bring his coaching act anew to Talk ‘N Text in the pro league.
With that sudden turn of events, Perasol’s job was left hanging in the balance. Saying “there was really no doubt in my mind as to who my Patron and Benefactor is–and that is MVP,” he mutually agreed to part ways with Ateneo, releasing “each other from the obligations of the contract.”
Despite that unfortunate development, Ateneo still went on to complete a ‘five-peat’ by humbling University of Santo Tomas in a pair of gut-wrenching games before school officials started its search for a perfect successor to Black, 54.
Among those who have been considered for the high-profile job were Ateneo assistant coaches Sandy Arespacochaga and Jamike Jarin. Also reportedly in the mix were Alex Compton and former Letran coach Louie Alas, both serving as assistants with the Alaska Aces.
But Perasol–clearly the top choice of Pangilina–is set to take full reins of the Blue Eagles.
In a text message sent Sunday noon, Perasol, who previously called the shots for the defunct Powerade Tigers in the pro league, said: “I was instructed not to give a comment pending Ateneo’s issuance of its statement (on Monday).”
Perasol, however, will have his work cut out for him, with a throng of big men, led by imposing center Greg Slaughter and back-to-back Finals MVP Nico Salva, having utilized their eligibility.
But Ateneo, gunning for a sixth straight title next season, will now be bannered by heady guard Kiefer Ravena, former Finals MVP Ryan Buenafe and Juami Tiongson.
Meanwhile, Ateneo athletic director Ricky Palou, in a phone interview Sunday, disclosed that school president Fr. Jett Villarin, SJ, has reached out to Pangilinan to bury the hatchet.
“The fact that they are talking is a good start," Palou realated. "Ang pagkakaalam ko, Ateneo and MVP have done so many things together in the past. When they parted ways, parang hind naging maganda ang ngangyari.So ang gusto ni Father Villarin is to talk with MVP again so they can patch things up.”