FEU Tamaraws has new mentor in ‘Denok’ Miranda

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FORMER Tamaraw and long-time assistant coach Dennis “Denok” Miranda has been named as the new Far Eastern University (FEU) head coach, succeeding Olsen Racela following his resignation last month.

The Tamaraws yesterday announced the appointment, finally giving the keys to one of its proud products starting in the UAAP Season 86 later this year.

Johnny Abarrientos, who has been part of FEU’s coaching staff with Mr. Miranda for years, was also named team consultant in a quick development over at the Morayta camp following a rare playoff miss in UAAP Season 85.

“Known as an elite defender and leader during his time, Coach Denok is expected to instill a defensive and winning mentality with the team,” said FEU in a statement.

Mr. Miranda, 40, was a two-time champion as a player for FEU in the 2000s before embarking on a long and productive professional journey since being selected as the third overall pick in the 2005 PBA draft.

The crafty guard went on to win two titles including an All-Rookie Team selection in the PBA, where he played until 2017 before transitioning to the MPBL and coaching in FEU.

He served as one of Mr. Racela’s assistant coaches in a stacked staff that also featured former Tamaraws like Mark Isip, Marc Pingris, Mr. Abarrientos, Vic Pablo and Jojo Lastimosa.

Now, Mr. Miranda is up for the role as the newest captain of the ship when FEU shoots for redemption next season.

The Tamaraws are coming off a 5-9 finish at seventh place in UAAP Season 85 to snap its Final Four consistency for eight straight years, the longest active playoff appearance streak then in the UAAP. — John Bryan Ulanday