Tiger Cubs hire new mentor

PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF MANU IñIGO MANU Iñigo (right) accepts the challenge from IPEA director Fr. Rodel Cansancio, O.P. of coaching the UST Tiger Cubs starting UAAP Season 86.

University of Santo Tomas formally appointed Manu Iñigo as the new head coach of its high school basketball team after falling short in Season 85 University Athletic Association of the Philippines.

Iñigo, who led San Beda University-Rizal to the National Collegiate Athletic Association juniors title in 2019, sat down with Institute of Physical Education and Athletics director Fr. Rodel Cansancio, O.P. on Wednesday to formally accept the challenge of leading the Tiger Cubs to their 12th title.

Joining Iñigo at the UST bench will be assistant coaches Andy Mejos, VL Sandalo, Onelle Balinton, Robert de la Rosa, Ronald Magtulis and JR Carlos.

Former Tiger Cubs head coach Jinino Manansala will still be part of the coaching staff while Jarvis Co and Jose Mari Protacio will serve as team managers.

Under Manansala, UST finished with a 7-7 win-loss card in the eliminations of Season 85.

The Cubs, however, were booted out by Adamson University in the Final Four, 62-55, before Manansala announced that he is stepping down last week.

Iñigo thanked the school for giving him a chance after he got involved in a mass sacking in San Beda recently.

“It was never easy, but I have always believed in God’s plan,” Iñigo said.

“I am grateful that I am given the opportunity to share my gift and knowledge with all the passionate athletes. Thank you to all those who believed and still believe in me and those who stayed all throughout.”

“This is just the beginning of a new chapter — a greater one. Indeed, God’s chosen path.”

Iñigo is the second coach to join UST after Pido Jarencio took the helm in the seniors program last month.

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