MANILA, Philippines - Ato Agustin, a one-time champion coach with Petron Blaze, has been tapped to hold the rein at Barangay Ginebra while Alfrancis Chua is on leave in the PBA Governors Cup that fires off Aug. 14.
Rain or Shine and San Mig Coffee, two teams that battled to a seven-game finals classic last year, play in the MOA Arena mainer on opening day with Air21 and GlobalPort slugging it out in the curtain-raiser.
The Elasto Painters go for a title-repeat with Arizona Reid as import.
With his winning credential, Agustin was chosen over Art dela Cruz, George Gallent and Boyzie Zamar.
The 1992 PBA MVP awardee calls the shots for the Kings at least for one conference while Chua is still on a coaching vacation.
In the PBA Governors Cup that starts Aug. 14, Chua is reportedly staying on with the team on a different capacity.
Chua, who steered the Kings to a runner-up finish in the last Commissioner’s Cup, is apparently assuming the role of team manager from Robert Non who will concentrate on his job as the team’s representative to the league board.
In the recent shakeup effected by the SMC management, Agustin and Gallent were shipped to Ginebra from Petron while Samboy Lim was promoted from team manager to assistant board representative.
The management needed another shuffle as Chua resigned but later was prevailed upon to just take a leave of absence.
Instead, removed out of the picture was former SMC basketball operation boss Noli Eala.
Agustin runs the Kings’ practices starting today.
Over at Talk n Text, coming on board to soup up the team’s backcourt rotation is former Ateneo stalwart Jai Reyes.
The 5-foot-9 point guard, the 18th pick by the Powerade Tigers in the 2010 PBA draft, is returning to the local pro league after drifting with the Saigon Heat in the Asean Basketball League.