PUREFOODS Tender Juicy Hotdogs superstar Alvin Patrimonio isn’t gearing up for a coaching job at the end of his illustrious Philippine Basketball Association playing career after all.
This became evident on Thursday when the four-time PBA Most Valuable Player accepted the position of team manager of the Hotdogs vice, Ed Cordero, who was tapped as deputy project director of the San Miguel All-Stars.
Patrimonio begins his dual role as playing team manager Friday night when the unbeaten Hotdogs take on slumping Red Bull Barako at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City.
Patrimonio’s appointment is historic because he becomes the first playing team manager in the PBA’s 30 years.
Meanwhile the FedEx Express sent 6-foot-7 center/forward Omanzie Rodriguez to Red Bull in exchange for the Barakos’ first-round pick in next year’s amateur draft.
Air21 president Lito Alvarez, who is also team manager of the three-year-old Express team, said FedEx will be getting Red Bull’s higher first-round pick next year.
Red Bull has two picks in the first round, the first one its own pick and the second obtained from Talk ’N Text through the Willer Miller trade.
FedEx coach Joe Lipa said the move, however painful for management, has to be done because “ultimately, it will be beneficial to all parties.”
Lipa reasoned that FedEx has an abundance of players in Rodriguez’s forward/center spot, making it difficult for the coaching staff to squeeze him into its system. As it is, Rodriguez had to fight for his minutes with the likes of Marc Pingris, Ranidel de Ocampo and newly acquired Homer Se.
At the start of the season, Patrimonio was named playing assistant coach of Purefoods, and most league observers took this as an indication that he is preparing for a coaching job when his contract expires.
This latest development however, indicates that Patrimonio may end up taking on a managerial position at San Miguel Corp., Purefoods’ parent company, should he decide to retire.
Patrimonio broke into the pros in 1988, but failed to win Rookie of the Year honors because he did not see action in one entire conference. He made up for that by later winning four MVP citations in 1991, 1993, 1994 and 1997.
In the ongoing Philippine Cup, Patrimonio has only logged an average of eight minutes and accounted for 2.5 points, 0.5 rebounds and an error.