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Tams tap Denok as coach

Dennis Miranda, a vital cog of the Far Eastern University squad that won back-to-back University Athletic Association of the Philippines crowns in the 2000s, has been appointed as head coach of the Tamaraws starting in Season 86.

Miranda takes over from Olsen Racela, who stepped down before the end of 2022, after the Morayta-based team compiled a 5-9 win-loss mark for seventh place overall.

Known as a defender in his playing days in the UAAP, Miranda won two titles in 2003 and 2004 along with Jeff Chan and Arwind Santos, who both won Philippine Basketball Association trophies in their professional careers.

Miranda also won two Philippine Basketball Association titles in 2007 and 2011 as a player as well as a member of the 2006 PBA All-Rookie Team along with Paolo Bugia, Larry Fonacier, Leo Najorda and KG Canaleta.

“Denok (Miranda’s nickname) brings with him over 12 years of playing experience in the PBA and is a two-time UAAP champion. He has also been a head coach in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League and has been an assistant coach for the Tamaraws since 2018,” the team page said in a statement.

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

Miranda is no stranger to the current UAAP as he is an assistant to Racela from 2018 to 2022 on the FEU bench.

He will be inheriting a Tamaraws squad that will have the likes of Ljay Gonzales, Patrick Sleat, Cholo Anonuevo and Xyrus Torres as they try to turn their fortunes around in getting back into the Final Four picture.

Helping him in the coaching staff is another FEU and PBA legend in Johnny Abarrientos, who Miranda worked with when he was an assistant coach.

The Tamaraws are the most decorated UAAP squad with 20 men’s basketball trophies.

“Joining Coach Denok as a team consultant is Philippine basketball great and FEU legend Johnny Abarrientos. Let us wish Coach Denok, Coach Johnny and the Tamaraws the best this coming UAAP basketball season,” the team page said.

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