MANILA, March 18, 2004  (STAR) Ginebra San Miguel made a major personnel shakeup in its organization appointing former San Miguel assistant coach Bethune ‘Siot’ Tanquingcen as head coach of the Barangay Ginebra and naming former mentor Allan Caidic as team manager of the squad in the Philippine Basketball Association.

Caidic took over the position of Eric Altamirano, who now returns to the San Miguel All Stars as its full time project director.

Altamirano is tasked to run the affairs of the SMC All Stars which has been holding exhibition games and basketball clinics all over the country.

Altamirano, meanwhile, flew to Dumaguete City where the SMC All Stars is set to play an exhibition game against a local selection today.

" This new post is a new challenge that I am very happy to take as we continue to strive to give excitement to the fans of Barangay Ginebra,"said Caidic who personally relayed the changes in the coaching and management of the Ginebra Kings during their practice at the Green Meadows gym in Quezon City yesterday.

" We all welcome Siot and the skill and experience he brings to the team, " he added..

Caidic, one of the finest players to play in the PBA with one MVP award tucked under his belt, held the reign at Ginebra for over three years.

He started calling the shots for the Kings in the 1999 Governors Cup, taking over from Rino Salazar. But his coaching career paled in comparison to his playing career which was embellished by championships with Presto and San Miguel Beer.

With a poor 63-90 win-loss coaching record, Caidic’s best finish in a tournament was runner-up to San Miguel Beer in the 2001 All-Filipino finals. Curiously, the Kings never made it past the quarterfinals in any tournament after that.

The Kings are in the middle of the pack with a 3-2 win-loss record in the current Gran Matador PBA Fiesta Conference.

With the departure of Tanquingcen from San Miguel Beer, coach Jong Uichico hopes tap Boybits Victoria as an understudy.

"Kung gusto ni Boybits, little by little kukunin ko siya to be one of my assistants. Pero he would still be there in the lineup," said Uichico.

Tanquingcen, a former UST Tiger who had a brief stint with San Miguel, also started as Uichico’s understudy. He made some impact when he made a good job as interim San Miguel mentor in 2002 when Uichico took a leave of absence to coach the Philippine team to the Busan Asian Games. — Nelson Beltran

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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