Padrigao welcomes with open arms Ateneo lifer Reggie Varilla as new coach
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Apr 11, 2018 04:19 PM
Forthsky Padrigao and Kai Sotto will make the transition easier for new Ateneo HS head coach Reggie Varilla (Photo courtesy of FIBA)
Little-known Reggie Varilla will finally get a chance to make a name for himself as new head coach of Ateneo de Manila High School.
Varilla, an Ateneo lifer, has the full faith of the school and its community.
"We are confident that promoting coach Reggie as head coach ensures a smooth transition for the team and guarantees the continuation of an already successful program," Ateneo High School principal Carmela Oracion said in her memo.
Varilla has been in Katipunan from grade school to high school and then from a college degree to a master's degree.
He was a longtime fixture on former head coach Joe Silva's staff and was part of the 2015 and 2018 championship teams.
Still, Varilla has nothing but big shoes to fill as he takes over for two-time champion Silva who followed multi-titled mentor Jamike Jarin.
The good news is the first-time head coach will have building blocks in FIBA Asia Under-16 Mythical selection Kai Sotto and fellow Batang Gilas player Forthsky Padrigao.
And even now, those two building blocks are already behind their new mentor.
As Padrigao put it, "For me, isa siya sa magagaling na coaches sa Ateneo, most especially sa defensive end which is very important for us right now. Less talented 'tong team namin compared to last year so yun yung magpapapanalo sa amin."
Indeed, along with the exit of a two-time champion coach in Silva, the Blue Eaglets will also have to move forward from the now-graduated veteran core of SJ Belangel, Jason Credo, Dave Ildefonso, and Joaqui Manuel.
With Sotto now on his third year and Padrigao ready and raring to take the wheel, though, Varilla is better positioned than most rookie tacticians.
Perhaps that's all that Ateneo will need to keep in contention.
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