The De La Salle University men’s basketball team has tapped the services of former Qatar men’s basketball national team head coach Tim Lewis to lead squad in Season 82 of the University Athletics Association of the Philippines.
Several sports news outlets early on Friday reported that the Taft-based university is expected to tap Lewis, a British coach with extensive experience working with different teams, as its new mentor.
He will be replacing Louie Gonzales, who led the Green Archers to an 8-6 finish but lost to the Far Eastern University Tamaraws in a play-off for the last final four slot for Season 81.
Lewis will be joined by Danny Seigle (consultant), Chappy Callanta (strength and conditioning), and Mc Abolucion (skills) of the San Miguel Alab Pilipinas of the ASEAN Basketball League, according to Tiebreaker Times.
The post was reportedly also offered to Lyceum Pirates head coach Topex Robinson and Alab Pilipinas mentor Jimmy Alapag but both turned down the offer due to their existing commitments.
The 51-year-old Lewis until recently led the Qatar national team. Prior to his acclaimed stint with Qatar, he also worked with the Great Britain national basketball team, Thailand national team, NBA G-League teams Bakersfield Jam and Raptors 905.
He has also had prior experience with Philippine basketball, having served as a consultant for the TNT Katropa of the PBA.
Lewis’ selection came to many as the once-dominant La Salle’s renewed commitment to returning to the podium.
Tapos Ateneo's Tab Baldwin na former Jordan national team coach. Gaano ba kadami pera nitong mga to para makakuha ng natl team coaches? Well okay madami bye. https://t.co/rn07UwFHc9
— april ong (@aprilgarciaong) December 13, 2018
Tim Lewis is the new head coach of the Green Archers with Alab Pilipinas assistant coaches as part of his staff. This is interesting 🤔
— Connor Hawke (@WarHawke9) December 14, 2018
A fan account known as a frequent commentator on La Salle’s athletic teams expressed hope in Lewis’ stay with the Green Archers being a fruitful one.
I sincerely hope it works out. So many coaching changes the past few years
— not coach juno (@Not_Coach_Juno) December 14, 2018
Another international coach in the collegiate league?
According to some media reports, La Salle’s motivation for seeking the services of a coach from the international scene was to match the success of arch-rivals Ateneo de Manila University, who won back-to-back men’s basketball trophies in 2017 and 2018 while being led by American-Kiwi coach Tab Baldwin.
Baldiwn before signing up with the Blue Eagles worked with the national teams of Malaysia, New Zealand, Jordan and eventually the Philippines.
Some big names in the basketball world have suggested that Baldwin was more suited for other campaigns. Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas chairman emeritus Manny Pangilinan recently suggested that Baldwin should coach the national youth team the Batang Gilas.
Coaching legend Tommy Manotoc in a column recently said that Baldiwn’s talents were more suited for service in the Gilas national team efforts.