Phoenix starts from Ground Zero

Aurea Calica (The Philippine Star) - June 12, 2016 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Newly designated Phoenix coach Ariel Vanguardia said the other day his goal is to transform the Fuel Masters into a scrappy team, aggressive on both ends, with a long-term focus on developing future stars in the PBA.

Vanguardia, 44, was chosen by Phoenix owner Dennis Uy to replace Koy Banal starting this third conference. It will be Vanguardia’s first stint as PBA head coach after assistant duties with Mobiline/Talk ‘N’ Text, Barako Bull and Blackwater. He was previously head coach of Jose Rizal University in the NCAA, Toyota Otis in the PBL and the Westports Dragons in the ABL.

Starting with a clean slate, Vanguardia is forming a brand-new coaching staff. Gone are Art de la Cruz, Jigs Mendoza and Paolo Rivero. So far, he’s brought in Tino Pinat, Cesar Polhen and PBA veteran Nic Belasco. Vanguardia is interviewing candidates for one more spot with Charles Tiu the frontrunner.


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