When one door closes, another one opens.
That’s the case for Chico Manabat as he takes over for Arellano University starting in the NCAA Season 99 tournament just two months after steering Centro Escolar University to the PG Flex-UCBL Season 5 title.
Manabat’s first day as the Chiefs’ head coach began today.
“Siyempre sa isip ko, talagang sinasabi ko na sa sarili ko na may kukuha sa akin. Nagka-anxiety ako nun kasi habang tumatagal, parang walang opportunity na dumarating. But God’s good,” expressed the 44-year-old Manabat. “Eto yung binigay niya and patience is a virtue. Faith talaga e kasi hindi ko ine-expect to.
“Ang babait ng mga boss at gusto nila kagad mag-take charge ako. Pero siyempre, I made sure to pay courtesy to Coach Cholo and they said na sila na bahala.”
In his only year with the Scorpions, Manabat steered the team to a 14-0 sweep of the tournament via a wide margin of 31.07 points per game. And Manabat is grateful for the opportunity given to him by CEU, headed by school owner Johnny Yap.
He takes over from Cholo Martin.
Martin was the head coach of the Chiefs from NCAA Seasons 95 to 98.
Under his watch, Arellano could not make the Final Four, accumulating a 15-30 record.
The Chiefs’ best finish during the past three seasons was a sixth-place finish in Season 97, bowing to University of Perpetual Help System DALTA in the play-in.
Building blocks for Manabat’s Arellano include Mythical Team player Cade Flores and guard Axel Doromal.
Manabat was also given the reins to the Braves program with him installing John Necesito as head coach. Necesito replaced Junjie Ablan, who guided the Braves to a 3-6 finish (seventh place) in NCAA Season 98.
Serving as lead assistant to Manabat is Manny Dandan.
“Nakikita ko yung pagbigay sa amin ng high school at college, nakikita namin na big change yung gusto nila. Magaling yung dating coaches pero now changes yung gusto nila. We hope we can deliver at long term ang usapan dito,” said Manabat.
“Big shoes to fill in talaga pero ang importante is we are all ready.”