Jarin, Lastimosa make coaching debut




The Manila Times



JAMIKE Jarin and Jojo Lastimosa make their respective coaching debuts as Phoenix and TNT face off in the main game of the 2022-23 PBA Governors’ Cup today, January 25, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. Jarin, who served as assistant coach in his three years with Phoenix, was elevated to interim coach after Topex Robinson accepted the head coaching post for De La Salle University in the UAAP. On the other hand, Lastimosa has been appointed as head coach for TNT as management wanted Chot Reyes to focus on his coaching duties for Gilas Pilipinas as the national team prepares for the 2023 FIBA World Cup slated this August. Providing guidance for Lastimosa is Serbian coach Slavoljub Lale Gorunovic, who was hired as the Tropang Giga’s active consultant. Gorunovic served as the head coach of the Kaohsiung Steelers in Taiwan last year, the same team where former NBA player Jeremy Lin played. Jarin, meanwhile, is no stranger to PBA coaching, having served as assistant coach for TNT from 2010 to 2015 and won four league titles during that period before joining coach Norman Black at the Meralco bench from 2015 to 2019. The new Phoenix interim mentor said he is not making any wholesale system changes with the team, noting that the players are already familiar with him. “The team will have very minimal changes. It’s just that they’ll be hearing a different voice because unlike before, it was coach Topex leading the way. Now they’ll hear my voice more,” Jarin said, heading to the team’s 6:45 p.m. match. In terms of import, Phoenix has brought back Du’Vaughn Maxwell, who came in and played four games as a late replacement for Dominique Sutton in the season-ending conference last year. The 31-year-old Maxwell averaged 27.5 points, 13.8 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.5 steals in his four-game stint, helping the Fuel Masters reach the Governors’ Cup playoffs last season as the eighth seed before losing to the Magnolia Hotshots in the quarterfinals. “Du’Vaughn came in and played in the tailend of this same conference but we got a lot of new guys coming in,” he added. The Fuel Masters face a Tropang Giga side that will have European League veteran Jalen Hudson as their import. Hudson, a standout from the University of Florida Gators, is coming off a stint in the Israeli League, serving as Hapoel Galil Elion’s import where he averaged 19.4 points and 6.6 rebounds. Meanwhile, a revitalized Blackwater hopes to get off to a strong start in the season-ending conference when the team collides with NLEX in the first game at 4:30 p.m. The Bossing are welcoming back veteran playmaker JVee Casio and young scoring guard Josh Torralba into the fold. Both players missed the entire Commissioner’s Cup due to separate injuries. Blackwater also added more weapons on its backcourt after acquiring three-point specialist Mike DiGregorio and RK Ilagan from a recent trade. The Bossing have brought back Shawn Glover, who will be ranged against NLEX’s import Jonathan Simmons, a certified NBA veteran, who played for the San Antonio Spurs from 2015 to 2017, before seeing action for the Orlando Magic and Philadelphia 76ers from 2017 to 2019. A known scorer, Simmons enjoyed his best season in the NBA in the 2017-18 season after averaging 13.9 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists while logging 29.4 minutes in 50 games. “We’ve got to limit his touches,” Blackwater coach Ariel Vanguardia said, referring to the team’s defensive plan against Simmons. “We prepared well for this conference. I’m praying we stay healthy.”