From Ateneo to De La Salle. Who says rivals don’t mix?
Long-time Ateneo de Davao University high school coach Miggy Solitaria is joining the De La Salle University Green Archers bench effective March 1.
The 30-year old Solitaria, who has given the ADDU Blue Knights their first ever National Basketball Training Center (NBTC) local title on Sunday, told Edge Davao that he has accepted the offer of the Green Archers to join the coaching staff headed by Aldin Ayo.
“Yes, I am joining La Salle,” said Solitaria. “I have mixed feelings leaving Ateneo but at the same time excited at the new challenge.”
Solitaria will begin his DLSU stint in the upcoming 80th Araw ng Dabaw Invitationals where the Green Archers will defend the title carrying the outfit of The Royal Mandaya Hotel-CMO.
Solitaria joins a solid DLSU bench that also boasts of former PBA coaches Siot Tanquingcen (Ginebra and San Miguel Beer) and Glenn Capacio (Kia).
Solitaria played for the Ateneo Eagles for two seasons in the Universities Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) from 2003-2005 before becoming the head coach of Ateneo de Davao’s juniors and passerelle teams from 2005 to 2010.
He was the youngest coach at that time at 18 years old.
He left basketball momentarily to work in Manila for two years but the itch of basketball kept on coming back. He became the basketball program director from grade school to college of ADDU while calling the shots for the juniors squad from 2012 until this month.
“I do not see it as a rivalry between Ateneo and La Salle. I see it as an opportunity to use my learnings at Atene and learn new ones in La Salle,” said Solitaria.
Samahang Basketball ng Pilipinas regional director Glenn Escandor wished Solitaria well in his new endeavor.
“Miggy is a good coach and I know he can contribute much to La Salle with his experience,” Escandor said.
Former St. Benilde coach Ronel Leuterio, who also had Solitaria under his wings, believed it is high time for the Dabawenyo mentor to be in the big leagues.
“He deserves it. I am happy for Miggy,” Leuterio said.