Chris Gavina has filed his resignation as head coach of Kia on Saturday morning to devote more time to his business.
Picanto team manager Joe Lipa confirmed the development and has elevated assistant Ricky Dandan to head coach position.
“He (Gavina) likes to focus on his business, which is the manufacturing of the tonic drink Impakt. He decided to go for good. It is a personal decision coming from him,” Lipa told The Manila Times in a phone interview. “We respected him as a person and we value his contribution to the team.”
Gavina’s resignation came after Kia’s 0-2 start in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Season 43 Philippine Cup. It was the Picanto’s 13th straight loss dating back last conference.
Dandan, who is also the assistant coach of Bo Perasol at University of the Philippines, will assume the position of head coach when the team resumes training January 2.
Gavina also confirmed his resignation to The Times.
“Today (Saturday) was my last practice with the team,” said Gavina, who led the team to its first playoff appearance in the 2016 Governors’ Cup although he was then not the squad’s official head coach but Manny Pacquiao.
Gavina became the official coach of Kia this season after Pacquiao’s group left the franchise.
This will be Dandan’s first stint as head coach in the PBA. He also served as assistant to Perasol during their days with the defunct Air21 and Coca-Cola franchises in 2005 and 2009, respectively.
“It is really a big challenge on my part to make this team competitive but there is always a silver lining. My job is to maximize the roster that we have and I have a pretty good idea what to do, even Chris Gavina knows it since we worked together in the past with GlobalPort,” said Dandan.
Picanto will face Magnolia next on January 10.