La Salle has finally made it official: Gee Abanilla is the new coach of the Green Archers.
Brothe Bernie Oca, the school’s Vice Chancellor for Lasallian Mission and External Relations, said in a statement that the 45-year old former Green Archer was formally introduced to the La Salle community in a lunch meeting with the “godfathers” at the Manila Polo Club.
“We are happy to have a former Green Archer handle the team,” said Oca.
“This marks the beginning of the preparation of the men’s basketball team for the coming season. It is heartening to see an outpouring of support for the team. The University will be behind the new coach so that he and the team will be able to achieve the best next season.”
“I’m very happy and honored to be chosen as the new head coach of the De La Salle Green Archers,” said Abanilla in a statement.
“I would like to bring a different brand of system. I want to put the players in a position where they can succeed. I am very optimistic we can improve. With the support of the community, we can improve on the standing last year.”
Abanilla is no stranger to La Salle basketball, having once donned the green and white jersey in the late ’80s and being part of the champion teams in 1989 and 1990 under coach Derrick Pumaren.
He was also part of the coaching staff of Franz Pumaren from 1998 to 2000, winning the title in each of those years.
Abanilla replaces Franz’s younger brother, Dindo, who tendered his resignation after two seasons at the helm of La Salle. Under the younger Pumaren this past season, the Green Archers finished sixth with a 5-9 win-loss mark and missed the playoffs for the second time in three years.
There are reports former La Salle stars Jun Limpot, Juno Sauler and Tyrone Bautista are being eyed to join the coaching staff of Abanilla, who currently serves as an assistant for Ato Agustin at Petron Blaze in the PBA.