The Star Hotshots signed Chito Victolero as new head coach on Friday beginning their campaign in the Philippine Basketball Association Season 42 starting November 20.
Mahindra coach Victolero is replacing Jason Webb who would assume the post of team consultant.
“I already introduced Chito (Victolero) to the team earlier. We are also practicing now although the new season will start on November 30,” Hotshots Team Governor Rene Pardo said in a phone interview. “We believe Chito is capable of helping the team because of his coaching experience in Mapua and Mahindra.”
“Chito was also a former teammate of Rafi Reavis and Peter June Simon during the MBA (Metropolitan Basketball Association) days,” he added. “That’s why it is not going to be hard for him. We are looking forward to a brand new season.”
Victolero resigned as Mahindra deputy coach in April.
Pardo said that he had already introduced Paul Lee to the team during Friday’s practice. The 2012 Rookie of the Year Lee, who averaged 13.1 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.2 assists in five years, was traded by Rain or Shine in exchange for James Yap on Thursday.
“We believe the trade is a win-win for both teams and as well as to the players,” said Pardo. “We traded our franchise player for a franchise player. We’re thankful to James (Yap) for his valuable contribution in the last 12 years. We are also excited to get Paul Lee. This is a new era for the Hotshots.”
Yap had an average of 15.6 points and 4.2 rebounds since being drafted second overall in the 2004 by Purefoods. Yap also won two Most Valuable Player awards while playing for the Purefoods franchise.
That was the time when the Star Hotshots, formerly known as the Purefoods Hotdogs, were under coach Ryan Gregorio.
GlobalPort, meanwhile, swapped Jay-R Quinahan for Anthony Jay Washington of Rain or Shine starting the next Philippine Cup.
JOSEF T. RAMOS