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Why not Rajko?

By Dennis Principe | Feb. 15, 2013 at 12:01am
Serbian coach Rajko Toroman is officially designated as coaching consultant of Barako Bull in the ongoing Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner’s Cup.

But one need not be a rocket scientist to determine the role of Toroman with the Energy Colas.

He calls timeouts and devises plays the way a coach does.

The PBA Press Corps, tasked to interview winning coaches after every game, have been doing the right thing by asking Toroman to join them in the press room instead of Bong Ramos, officially the team’s head coach.

Such was the case in Barako’s initial outing, a 79-75 win over defending champion San Mig Coffee Mixers.

“I’m surprised you called me here. I don’t know how they want to call me but this is my system. I’m the one responsible” said Toroman after the SanMig game. ”We have a nice atmosphere during our practices. We need time but this team will get better.”

The PBAPC, however, invited Ramos after Barako’s second win and plans to do so in their upcoming victories.

Reportedly, the Basketball Coaches Association of the Philippines is the group behind the move to deny Toroman of getting full coaching designation.

The BCAP, as expected, continues to insist that foreign coaches like Toroman deny Filipino coaches of a chance to coach in the PBA.

Surprisingly, this column’s radio show, heard over Sports Radio 918 have, been getting messages that favor Toroman.

The most common reason among basketball fans is that Toroman already served as national team coach for nearly three years.

Also, having Toroman may actually lead to having more quality coaches in the near future, specifically among players under the Serbian coach’s watch.

COOL HILL. Struggling Barangay Ginebra San Miguel import Herbert Hill continues to be bombarded by hate messages from his team’s diehard fans.

But Hill seems unperturbed as he also get positive messages from other Ginebra followers.

“Most people have been positive. I try not to pay attention. Not a big deal. I didn’t play the way I wanted beginning of the game,” Hill told TV and radio personality Snow Badua.

After missing his first 10 attempts, Hill recovered from that first half slump to finish with 17 points and 18 rebounds in his debut versus Air21 last Sunday.

Still, Hill’s effort was not enough to help Ginebra as the league’s crowd favorite lost to the Express, 74-70.

Reports have it that Hill is set to be replaced by NBA D-league veteran Vernon Macklin.

FIRM MARQUEZ. Multi-division world champion Juan Manuel Marquez continues to play “hard to get” as promoter Bob Arum seems bent on promoting a fifth battle between the Mexican superstar and Filipino icon Manny Pacquiao.

Today, Marquez told Mexican media that Pacquiao is not the only option he is looking at when it comes to his next opponent.

Pressed to name few fighters outside of Pacquiao who can give him a lucrative match, Marquez declines to name one.

Arum, on the other hand, believes Marquez has no other alternative in terms of cornering a marquee bout.

Last week, Marquez declared he sees no need in making a fifth bout opposite Pacquiao.

However, Arum and famed trainer Freddie Roach said Marquez is just using his latest win as leverage to get a lion’s share of whatever revenue a fifth battle with Pacquiao will earn.

Marquez is coming off a shocking sixth-round knockout win over Pacquiao in their fifth battle held last December in Las Vegas.

FUTURE FLASH FOE. Former world superbantamweight champion Juan Manuel Lopez of Puerto Rico is eyeing a potential battle opposite Nonito Donaire, Jr.

Lopez is on the comeback trail after losing his world crown to Mexican Orlando Salindo March of last year

According to promoter Peter Rivera of PR Best Boxing Promotions, he is in talks with Top Rank Inc. to include Lopez in the undercard of Donaire’s unification battle against Cuban Guillermo Rigondeaux, holder of the World Boxing Association superbantamweight strap.

Lopez said that he thinks Donaire will win that fight and that he would like to face the fighter nicknamed The Filipino Flash in the near future.

“It is a tough fight for both guys. Rigondeaux is a great fighter with good skills, very technical. I feel this is Nonito’s time and that he will win a dominating decision.”

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