Creamline decided to part ways with Chinese coach Huanning Li as management wanted a more suitable program for the defending champions Cool Smashers.
Li was sacked from his post on Monday, a day after Creamline suffered a devastating straight sets loss to PetroGazz to open the Premier Volleyball League Season 3 Reinforced Conference.
Assistant coach Ed Ortega took over Li’s spot for the meantime.
“Actually, sinabihan ako ng management to take over the training and the game. They are trying to find a suitable program for the team,” said Ortega on Wednesday after Creamline’s 25-21, 25-16, 25-18 beating of PacificTown Army for a 1-1 win-loss slate tied with their victim.
“Sad to say, Creamline and coach Li kailangan talaga mag part ways,” added Ortega.
Li, a former China national juniors team mentor, replaced Tai Bundit after the Thai mentor’s contract expired last year. Bundit steered the same Cool Smashers core to a Season 2 title sweep, winning the Reinforced and Open Conference crowns.
Ortega followed the system of Bundit during practice and reverted to the Thai coach’s tried and tested rotation and plays that resulted in the quick win.
“Yes, even the training, the drills tsaka 'yung happy happy,” said Ortega.
Veteran Michele Gumabao, who played only in the third set off the bench in their opener and finished with only one point under Li’s watch, exploded with 13 points to lead Creamline.
A source privy with the transaction said Bundit received a message from the Creamline management on Tuesday asking for his return and the former Ateneo de Manila University mentor is expected to fly back to Manila on Monday.
Ortega said that the management has yet to give a name of Li’s replacement.
“Sinabihan lang ako ng management na may head coach pero hindi nila sinasabi kung sino,” Ortega said. “Wala talaga akong idea so ngayon, ako pa rin bahala sa trainings.”
Ortega is expected to call the shots on Sunday in Creamline’s match against BanKo Perlas.
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