NBA
La Salle confirms coaching change: Abanilla out, Sauler in
Joey Villar (The Philippine Star) - June 8, 2013 - 3:57pm

MANILA, Philippines - In a move viewed as a complete shocker to many, La Salle has replaced Abanilla with top assistant Sauler with only three weeks before the 76th UAAP senior basketball tournament unfolds on June 29 at the MOA Arena in Pasay City.

Henry Atayde, La Salle's representative to the league board, made the confirmation of Sauler's recent appointment citing Abanilla is now being recalled by his PBA mother team Petron Blaze that is reportedly undergoing some major manpower changes.

"Yes it's confirmed," Atayde told The STAR." Petron is recalling Gee (Abanilla) due to the re-organization that is happening.

"Juno Sauler is the new head coach.

It was announced to the team this morning by the Brother President Ricky Laguda and Ambassador Danding Cojuangco," added Atayde, who attended the same lunch when the official announcement was made.

Atayde said Laguda will make the official announcement on Monday.

Atayde, however, neither confirmed nor denied Abanilla was being replaced because the Archers failed to even get passed the quarterfinals following a painful 63-66 defeat at the hands of the San Beda Red Lions, the reigning three-peat NCAA titlists, in a game they were leading by 10 points in the final four minutes before collapsing.

"I got clearance from the brother president (Laguda) and Ambassador (Cojuangco) to give this statement only so please refer to it," said Atayde.

It is not known though what will happen to Abanilla at Petron that Atayde was saying was undergoing "major changes."

As La Salle's mentor, Abanilla has steered the team to a 10-6 (win-loss) record last year with Sauler, his top assistant then, and Jun Limpot as the other members of his coaching staff.

Sauler, who has been a long time assistant at La Salle having served as one during the long stint of now Air21 coach Franz Pumaren, will debut as a head coach for the first time and he will get to prove his worth starting next week.

ABANILLA AS LA SALLE ATAYDE BROTHER PRESIDENT RICKY LAGUDA AND AMBASSADOR DANDING COJUANGCO FRANZ PUMAREN HENRY ATAYDE JUN LIMPOT JUNO SAULER LA SALLE SAULER
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