Chico Manabat is filling in the shoes of Jeff Napa as the new coach of Centro Escolar University (CEU).
Both Manabat and Napa confirmed this in separate statements on Thursday as the Scorpions seek to strengthen their future campaigns in the PBA D-League and the Universities and Colleges Basketball League (UCBL).
Manabat said Napa recommended him to the CEU bosses to take over his post.
Napa is reportedly being eyed to be elevated as the new coach of National University after serving as the Bulldogs’ consultant.
“Natuwa naman ako na tinanggap ako ng mga boss sa CEU. Siyempre bata pa ako sa situation na ganito, pero matanda na ko sa mga pinagdaanan namin ni coach Jeff,” said the 41-year-old Manabat, who has been the assistant to Napa for NU, Letran and CEU.
Manabat said his first order of mission is to improve his players’ experiences.
“Yung naabutan namin na team, bata talaga. Ang sabi ng bosses, i-develop ko muna yung mga players. Yun muna ang immediate goal namin ngayon: focus sa development and sa aral,” he said.
Napa, for his part, is optimistic of the Scorpions’ future under Manabat’s hands.
“Sobrang laki ng tiwala ko kay Coach Chico. Confident ako na kaya niyang gampanan yung binigay sa kanya na opportunity na ito,” Napa said.