Koy Banal, Denok Miranda, Mark Isip – It's an FEU reunion in Marinero

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jan 25, 2018 08:05 PM
Banal, Miranda, Isip – It's an FEU reunion in Marinero
All key cogs in FEU's early to mid-2000s run in the UAAP, Denok Miranda, Mark Isip, and Koy Banal (from left to right) are now key cogs in Marinerong Pilipino's contention in the PBA D-League

Marinerong Pilipino has been the site of a family reunion in the PBA D-League.

With Koy Banal calling the shots, Joel Banal serving as consultant, and now, Gab Banal playing a key role, the Banals have found a new home with the Skippers.

Along with that Banal family reunion, a different kind of family has also reunited in Marinero.

Koy Banal now has two of his former players on his coaching staff. “I like the composition of our team, our players and at the same time, yung coaching staff namin. Natuwa ako rito sa dalawang ‘to kasi they’ve been with me since the good old days,” he said, referring to new assistants Denok Miranda and Mark Isip.

Banal, Miranda, and Isip – along with Arwind Santos, of course – were all key cogs in the Far Eastern University team which ruled the UAAP in the early to mid 2000s.

The head coach continued, “Natutuwa akong they are willing to walk the extra mile, willing to sacrifice para rito sa team namin dito.”

For Miranda, it’s only right to be starting his coaching career with the very same person who jumpstarted his playing career. “Siyempre, exciting na first coaching job ko is under my mentors coach Koy and coach Joel. Sa kanila ako nag-start (maglaro) tapos ngayon, sa kanila rin ako nag-start mag-coach,” he shared.

The now 35-year-old said all he has accomplished, from being a Tamaraw to being a two-time champion in the PBA, was all because of Banal.

“Sobrang laki ng pasasalamat ko kay coach Koy kasi siya ang nag-recruit sa akin nung 15 pa lang ako sa Muntinlupa. Sa kanya talaga ako nagsimula,” he said.

And now, it’s also his former mentor who has given him his first shot as a coach. “Guards ang responsibility ko. Shine-share ko lang yung mga diskarteng napagdaanan ko sa PBA before,” he said.

That means that the likes of Achie Inigo, Renzo Subido, and Joseph Terso will have a lot to learn.

Whenever Banal would need him to suit up once more, however, Miranda said he will be ready. “Hindi pa ako retired ha. Baka maglaro pa o hindi na, depende sa sitwasyon,” he said with a laugh.

He then continued, “Mahaba pa naman yung season so siguro ang makakapagpabalik sa akin, kapag nagtatalo-talo kami. Nag-eensayo pa rin naman ako with the team.”

Imagine that – more than a decade after Koy Banal coached Denok Miranda in green and gold, the former could coach the latter again now in baby blue and white.

It could happen, you know?

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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