Serbian coach Rajko Toroman renews his love affair with Philippine basketball on Monday as he takes charge of the buildup of the Jones Cup-bound Mighty Sports in the absence of head coach Charles Tiu.
The original mentor of Gilas Pilipinas accepted the invitation of his former protégé to be the team consultant but will oversee the team’s preparation for the meantime until Tiu returns from his national duty.
Tiu, who is serving as one of the assistant coaches of Gilas Youth which is campaigning in the FIBA U-19 World Cup in Greece, has worked for Toroman during his Gilas stint from 2009 to 2011.
“Coach Charles knows coach Rajko so well so there’s no problem with it. The team is in good hands with coach Rajko at the helm and Charles knows it too,” said Mighty Sports owner Alex Wongchuking.
Most of the members of the team, according to Wongchuking, are excited to have Toroman watching them as they prepare for one important mission – regain the title Mighty Sports won in its initial foray three years ago.
The sports apparel and accessory team represented the country during the 2016 edition and made history right away by winning the title via an 8-game sweep.
Veteran PBA imports Renaldo Balkman, Eugene Phelps and Zach Graham will reinforce the team along with ex-NBA 7-foot center Hamadi N’Diaye.
Also with the team are former PBA star Joseph Yeo, Angelo Wongchuking, ex-Ateneo player Aaron Black, Gab Banal and Fil-Ams Michael Williams, Jason Brickman, Roosevelt Adams and Jeremiah Gray.
Brickman and Graham were remnants of 2016 champion team while Adams and Gray made heads turn during their stint with Mighty Sports in the Dubai Invitational tournament last February.
Bannered by Ginebra resident import Justin Brownlee and former NBA star Lamar Odom, Mighty Sports finished third in the tough Dubai tourney.
Toroman is best known for steering Iran to the 2008 Beijing Olympics.