Barako Bull coach Junel Baculi had to turn down longtime principal Mikee Romero when the latter offered him to helm GlobalPort.
“I told him that I’m still under contract with Barako Bull,” Baculi told InterAKTV in a telephone interview. “Medyo napagalitan pa nga ako ng boss ko sa Barako dahil may mga kumalat agad na tsismis na lilipat ako sa GlobalPort. But I will remain committed to Barako because I’m still under contract with this team. We look forward to inject a few young players who could provide us energy.”
Baculi and Romero have a long working relationship. The coach coached the businessman’s Harbour Centre team in the Philippine Basketball League and later served as a consultant for that squad. Baculi also coached the Philippine team bankrolled by Romero to the gold medal in the 2007 Southeast Asian Games.
On Friday, Romero’s firm formally joined the PBA after purchasing the Powerade Tigers franchise for P100 million and paying a P10-million franchise fee to the league.
Romero revealed he tried to hire Baculi and another former Harbour Centre coach, Jorge Gallent, to his fold, but said both were committed to other PBA teams. Gallent currently serves as an assistant coach with the Petron Blaze Boosters.
Former Powerade coach Bo Perasol was also offered the job, but earlier asked for a release from his live contract. Perasol is expected to take over the Ateneo Blue Eagles post next season.
Instead, Romero appointed Glenn Capacio, the coach of the AirAsia Philippine Patriots in last season’s ASEAN Basketball League, in an interim capacity, with former Powerade assistant coaches Ricky Dandan and Charles Tiu also being retained as part of the staff.
» Rajko Toroman happy with new Barako Bull players from trades
» ‘It’s not you it’s me’: Petron wishes the best for Jay Washington at GlobalPort
» Olsen Racela on Jason Deutchman: ‘He’ll be getting limited minutes in Petron’