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With or without him, Jamike hopes Phoenix keeps core intact

Jamike Jarin is leaving the decision to Phoenix Super LPG management now that his first PBA conference at the helm has come to a close.

The veteran mentor was named as the Fuel Masters’ interim head coach for the 2022-23 Governors’ Cup following the departure of Topex Robinson, who left his post last January to accept the offer of De La Salle University.

Similar to the aforementioned, Robinson himself also served as the team’s acting shot-caller after Louie Alas’ sacking back in 2020, but was eventually handed the keys to the franchise during the Philippine Cup bubble in Clark.

“That’s not mine to decide,” said Jarin shortly after their 132-105 quarterfinal loss to TNT, Wednesday at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.

“It’s the management, it’s the bosses who will decide that,” added the champion coach, who’s been with the club since 2020.

“I’m a basketball coach. If you tell me to coach, I’ll coach. If you tell me to sit down, I’ll sit down.”

Jarin’s appointment was just one of the many changes that took place within Phoenix this season, which, of course, includes the exit of Matthew Wright at the end of the Philippine Cup as he took his talents to Japan.

Furthermore, he inherited a team that hogged the headlines during the middle of the season when uncertainties over its future as a franchise floated.

Yet through all that, the Fuel Masters kept on fighting through and even made it to the quarters twice this season, something that he couldn’t be any prouder of.

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Thus, his desire to get the back band together next season, saying that all 15 of his men deserve it for staying the course despite the woes.

“I would love to see everybody come back because we have a group of very hardworking players that deserve to be in the PBA. We’re just gonna get better with their attitude and the culture we’ve built,” Jarin said.

For now, though, recovery is on top of their to-do list following what was a grueling season before plotting their offseason plans.

Asked about the kind of changes he would want to see, the former high school champion coach would prefer to stick with his present personnel.

“The changes that we all want to [make are that] we have to get better. Those are the changes. But as much as possible, like what I said a while ago, I’d love everybody to come back,” he said.

“Because they all deserve to come back because of what they’ve been through and the work they’ve been through.”

The second game of each PBA gameday is live-streamed on SMART Sports.

Written By

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.

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