For many years, Siot Tanquingcen has been an understudy of Jong Uichico, with both men having been taken under the wing of PBA Hall of Fame mentor Ron Jacobs.
But the former UST point guard will take a lead role beside Uichico next season, after he was appointed a co-coach of the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings.
The soft-spoken Tanquingcen said the news hasn’t quite sunk in yet.
“Actually, I am still in the process of evaluating everything because this caught me by surprise,” Tanquingcen wrote in a text message to InterAKTV.
While the two coaches will have similar titles, Tanquingcen will be the head of the coaching staff, a setup confirmed by no less than San Miguel Corporation chief operating officer Ramon Ang.
Tanquingcen is an accomplished coach in his own right, with three PBA titles under his belt. His first taste of head coaching experience came in 2002, when he took over as interim coach when Uichico left to coach the national team. He was appointed head coach of Ginebra in 2004, leading the Gin Kings to two titles.
He was demoted back to assistant after Uichico was appointed coach of the league’s crowd darlings in 2006. But Tanquingcen was quickly conscripted to take over as head coach of San Miguel after then-Beermen coach Chot Reyes left the team to coach the national squad. Under Tanquingcen, San Miguel won the 2009 Fiesta Conference, against Uichico’s Ginebra.
In 2010, Tanquingcen found himself serving as Uichico’s right hand man once more, after Ato Agustin was named the new San Miguel coach.
This time, as co-coaches of the Gin Kings, Tanquingcen and Uichico will jointly try to provide their winning ways back to the league’s most popular squad.
It won’t be the first time a team will experiment with having two men calling the shots. In 1997, the Mobiline (now Talk ‘N Text) franchise appointed Derrick Pumaren and Tommy Manotoc co-head coaches of the team.