e is one of the most famous bloodlines in Filipino basketball.
Jonathan Banal is now hoping to conquer his own niche after surviving a life-threatening illness before tirelessly working behind the scenes last year.
31-year-old Jonathan, son of multi-title tactician Koy Banal, was appointed head coach of the Rizal Golden Coolers for the fourth season of the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League on Thursday.
"I am only grateful for this opportunity," said Banal, the 2007 NCAA rookie who was selected in the fourth round of the 2014 PBA draft.
"I love coaching and I want to follow the traces of my father, uncle and my mentors."
Banal counts father Koy and uncle Joel Banal among his greatest coaching influences. He also serves as Yong Garcia's assistant at Marinerong Pilipino in the PBA D-League.
More than his knowledge of the game, Banal's story of faith and resilience resonates with people in the basketball community.
Unknown to many, the younger Banal was diagnosed with lupus only two years ago. He was in intensive care for a week and had to undergo dialysis.
"It was difficult, but I had faith in God," said Banal, who was originally diagnosed with tuberculosis.
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