Bates gets new job, hired as skills coach for Patriots
FORMER PBA import Billy Ray Bates has been hired as the skills coach of the AirAsia Philippine Patriots in the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL), whic opens its brand-new season in January of next year.
“He’s a legend in the PBA so we believe he can share and teach whatever he knows to our players,” said team owner and sports patron, Mikee Romero, also the president of Harbour Centre. “He was my basketball idol during his first PBA stint, so I want to help him start a new career.”
Bates was inducted to the PBA Hall of Fame during the league’s opener last Oct. 2, where he signified his interest to work as a coach in the country like fellow former PBA imports Norman Black (Ateneo) and Bobby Parks (San Miguel).
Bates is largely credited for helping Crispa win a Grand Slam in 1983 and he also helped power Ginebra to its first title in 1986 in tandem with do-it-all Michael Hackett.
Known in the PBA community as the “Black Superman”, Bates once played for the Portland Trailblazers and the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA.
CEBUANOS IN SAN MIGUEL
Meanwhile, in news regarding the country’s other team in the ABL, the San Miguel Beermen, five players who has basketball roots in Cebu has made the team. This was confirmed by Parks, who was in town recently to watch his newest acquisition, the 6-foot-10 giant from Pinamungahan and the University of Cebu’s pride and joy Junemar Fajardo.
Joining Fajardo on the squad are former M. Lhuillier and Mandaue-Cebu Landmasters standouts Marlon Basco, Hafer Mondragon and Froilan Baguion as well as former Adamson Falcon and UC Baby Webmaster, Jan Colina. /Correspondent Jonas Panerio
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