Change is coming fast in Blackwater.
A day after absorbing their 19th straight defeat, the Bossing have named Ariel Vanguardia as its interim head coach to replace Nash Racela.
This marks the return of the veteran bench tactician in the PBA after previously coaching Talk N Text (2000-06) and Phoenix (2016-17).
Vanguardia, who’s also the team’s alternate governor, knows the challenge he’s about to face. But he looks forward to it, nonetheless.
Before thinking about the wins and losses, however, the 48-year-old said that changing the ball club’s culture is of utmost importance.
“Basta, we want to change the culture muna. Dapat proud ka na Blackwater ka,” he told Tiebreaker Times.
This could mark the beginning of many developments over at Blackwater now that it is in the midst of the longest losing skid ever in the league.
Owner Dioceldo Sy has hinted at a major revamp of his team. Vanguardia understands the goal and so he’s banking on his past experiences.
It could be remembered that he had mentored in the collegiate ranks with Jose Rizal University, whom he led to an NCAA Finals appearance in 2008.
Then of course, there’s his memorable run with Westports Malaysia Dragons in the ASEAN Basketball League, which ultimately led to a title in 2016.
“Iyan naman ang swerte natin in coaching. Like JRU, Dragons, and Phoenix, they had to rebuild,” Vanguardia recalled.
“In a way, ‘yan ang niche natin sa coaching.”