Ariel Vanguardia taps Nic Belasco as big man’s coach for Phoenix

PENANG –New Phoenix coach Ariel Vanguardia has added former PBA veteran big man Nic Belasco to his coaching staff, hopeful that his lengthy experience in the pro ranks could fast-track the growth of the Fuel Masters’ young front court.

“Ngayon (Saturday) lang iyun na-finalize (decision to tap Belasco) kaya sa Monday pa lang siya sasama sa practice,” Vanguardia told FOX Sports. “Sa big man at sa skills siya papasok.”

The 42-year-old Belasco, who closed his PBA career with Alaska in 2014, has been tasked at developing newly-acquired rookie Norbert Torres and seldom-used young slotmen Philip Miranda and Prince Caperal.

The 6-foot-6 Belasco is no longer a stranger for Vanguardia, having played uner the Filipino coach in the 2012 season at Westports Malaysia Dragons. Also joining Vanguardia’s coaching staff are Tino Pinat and Cesar Polhen.

Belasco is a proven winner collecting 8 PBA championships, 6 of them with the San Miguel Beermen.

At the moment, Vanguardia is in Penang to serve as the Malaysia Dragons’ technical adviser for the 2016 Penang Chief Minister Cup.

He will maintain that title through the PBA D-League where the Dragons, carrying the name Blu Star, will serve as guest team as part of the country’s continuing basketball development.By Richard Dy

Follow this writer on Twitter: @richava

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