Former San Beda College Red Lions head coach Jamike Jarin confirmed that he would now mentor the National University (NU) Bulldogs in the upcoming University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 80 men’s basketball tournament.
“Yes I will be coaching NU in the upcoming UAAP season. I didn’t entertain calls the past few weeks because I don’t like my former players in San Beda to get upset,” Jarin told The Manila Times during Meralco’s game against San Miguel Beer at the Cuneta Astrodome on Wednesday.
Jarin is replacing Eric Altamirano, who resigned as Bulldogs coach last November.
“If I say I’m happy with NU, I guess that won’t be good for my former players to hear that’s why I did not talk to the media after I left. It’s not easy leaving San Beda,” he added.
Jarin, who powered San Beda to its 20th National Collegiate Athletic Association men’s basketball title in October, is also the current assistant coach of the Meralco Bolts in the Philippine Basketball Association. He served San Beda as head coach for two years.
“So far, I’m still evaluating all the players in NU and the process is not done yet. I just met them a week ago and we practiced for few days,” said Jarin. “There is no official line-up yet. It is too early. I cannot announce who will compose the line-up.”
Asked about his reaction on the reappointment of Boyet Fernandez as San Beda head coach, Jarin said, “I’m very happy and I believe he can lead the team to another championship. Of course, the familiarity is there and he knows the culture well.”
Fernandez guided the Red Lions to back-to-back titles in the years 2013 to 2014 before joining the Northern Luzon Expressway Road Warriors in the PBA. Fernandez, however, was replaced by Yeng Guiao as NLEX coach prior to the start of the season.
In Jarin’s first year as a coach in 2015, San Beda lost to Letran in the best-of-three finals. Letran was then coached by Aldin Ayo, who is now coaching the 2016 UAAP champion De La Salle University.
JOSEF T. RAMOS