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Meneses steps down as JRU head coach to focus on political career

After nine long years, Vergel Meneses is stepping down as head coach of the Jose Rizal University Heavy Bombers.

"I'm moving on to a new arena. I want to serve my hometown this time," disclosed Meneses, who had been the NCAA's longest-tenured coach before his departure.

Meneses, who hails from Malolos, Bulacan, has decided to divert his attention to politics.

The PBA legend played for the Heavy Bombers during his college days and took on the coaching reins in 2009. In nine seasons, he accumulated an 84-76 win-loss record and led the team to five postseason berths. The Heavy Bombers are coming off a disappointing Season 94 campaign where they mustered only three wins and 15 losses.

"I believe I have served my alma mater for the past nine years and it's high time to go back to my roots," said the 50-year-old mentor, who informed the school of his plans before submitting his certificate of candidacy.

"They (JRU) are behind me in this endeavor," he added.

Assistant coach Vic Lazaro is currently running team practices but remains to be seen if he will formally get the head coaching position.

Meneses is the second coaching change in the NCAA this week as Bonnie Tan is expected to take over the Letran Knights according to reports.

Former head coach Jeff Napa's three-year contract expired last month and the school decided to look for a coach elsewhere for its NCAA Season 95 campaign. Tan, who last coached for the Lyceum Pirates four years ago, was Letran's team manager alongside Waiyip Chong last season.

It has been a busy offseason in the NCAA as there have been a total of five head coaching changes. Aside from JRU and Letran, Arellano, Emilio Aguinaldo, and Mapua have also shaken things up at the top. The other changes include Cholo Martin taking over the Arellano Chiefs, Oliver Bunyi for the EAC Generals, and Randy Alcantara for the Mapua Cardinals.