Ariel Vanguardia tapped to replace Nash Racela on interim basis

Ariel Vanguardia is making his PBA coaching comeback after being named Blackwater's interim head coach.

Bossing team governor Silliman Sy confirmed the development to ESPN5's Richard Dy on Sunday, a day after Blackwater crashed out of the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup with a 0-11 win-loss card and a record-breaking 19th straight defeat.

Vanguardia, who is also the team's alternate governor, will replace Nash Racela, who compiled a 13-42 record with the franchise since signing a deal to take over in 2019. Racela's contract will lapse at the end of the season.

"[Ariel is now Blackwater's] interim coach for the second conference," Sy said. "No formal meeting yet [with Nash], but [we'll] likely pre-terminate [his] contract."

This marks Vanguardia's first coaching stint since 2017, when he mentored the Phoenix Fuel Masters for a year.

Before that, the 48-year-old coach handled the Westports Malaysia Dragons in the ASEAN Basketball League for five years before pushing them to a title in 2016.

He also had stints with Jose Rizal University in the NCAA and steered the Heavy Bombers to the finals in the 2008 season.

Vanguardia has vast assistant coaching experience, too, as he served as a deputy for the Manila Metrostarts in the MBA from 1998 to 1999, for Talk 'N Text from 2000 to 2006, and for Barako Bull from 2009 to 2010.

On Saturday, team owner Dioceldo Sy hinted at a significant personnel change following another dismal loss that saw the Bossing surpass the longstanding record for futility set by the Presto/Great Taste franchise in 1980.

Blackwater has yet to win a game since October 17, 2020.

"We will revamp the whole coaching staff and review the lineup of players," said Sy.