Monday, February 6, 2012
Rajko Toroman in talks with SMC
Source : Reynaldo Belen, InterAKTV
Rajko Toroman won’t be the coach of the national team, but he isn’t saying goodbye to Philippine basketball just yet.
The Serbian coach flew to the country at the height of the Philippine Cup finals to meet with Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas president Manuel V. Pangilinan, who chairs the company that bankrolls the SMART-Gilas Pilipinas national program, for which Toroman called the shots for three years. The coach led the squad to a fourth-place finish in the 2011 FIBA Asia Championships, the country’s best finish in the biennial meet in 24 years.
Toroman’s contract with SMART-Gilas ended last October, and the coach revealed that he received no offer from Pangilinan, effectively ending his tenure with the national squad.
“There was no offer from MVP. We met and he thanked me for the things I’ve done for the team,” said Toroman.
InterAKTV is part of InterAksyon.com, the online news portal of TV5, which is chaired by Pangilinan.
Toroman, however, said he had been in touch with Noli Eala, a sports executive of the San Miguel Corporation. Eala, who is a former executive director of the SBP, had previously worked with Toroman when he managed the day-to-day operations of SMART-Gilas. The SBP leadership implemented a reorganization in 2010, bringing in Frankie Lim to manage the squad to replace Eala.
“We’ll see what happens, but right now, we’re just talking, but nothing definite yet,” said Toroman, who earlier said that he is entertaining offers from club teams in Europe.