MANILA, Philippines - Alfrancis Chua has reportedly resigned as head coach of Barangay Ginebra, announcing his decision to the players in their first practice session yesterday for the coming PBA Governors Cup.
On-line reports said Chua decided to step down following disagreement with the management on the coaching shakeup and player movement during the conference break.
The STAR sought Chua for confirmation, but he had yet to return call or send text message at press time.
Moments after their practice at the Xavier Gym in San Juan, Ginebra main man Mark Caguioa posted cryptic messages on his Twitter account.
“Say it isn’t so #GINEBRAWEAREONE,” Caguioa twitted.
“Strong players don’t win championships ‘Coach AL’ #ITSALLABOUTCHEMISTRY,” Caguioa also twitted.
It was an eventful first day of practice for the Kings where veteran forward Rudy Hatfield also announced his retirement.
The hardnosed Fil-Am player called it quits at 35 after 11 PBA seasons where he averaged 10.92 points, 9.72 rebounds, 2.52 assists and 1.22 steals.
Hatfield played under Chua with Tanduay in his first year in the PBA before moving over to Pop Cola, Coca-Cola and finally Ginebra.
The University of Michigan-Dearborn product highlighted his PBA career with Finals MVP honors, one Mythical First Team citation, two Mythical Second Team memberships and a stint with the Phl team in the 2002 Busan Asian Games.
A bigger shocker was the announcement made by Chua, coming just after Ginebra’s solid performance in the last conference.
In his debut as Ginebra head coach, Chua steered the injury-crippled Kings to stirring playoff wins over the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters and the Talk n Text Tropang Texters to make the finals versus the eventual champions Alaska Milk Aces.
And hopes were high the Kings would continue to perform well after SMC struck a multi-team trade deal that brought big man Japeth Aguilar over to Ginebra from Globalport.
The player swap was followed by a revamp of the coaching staff of all SMC teams. At Ginebra, coming aboard as assistant coaches are Jorge Gallent and Ato Agustin.