July 22, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

Northwood boys basketball coach Christian Manalo accepts job at Diamond Bar

Christian Manalo (left) talks to Huntington Beach Coach Tino Zaragoza after a game last season. (Photo: Tim Burt, OC Sports Zone).

After three seasons as head varsity boys basketball coach at Northwood High School, Christian Manalo said Friday he has resigned to coach at Diamond Bar, his alma mater.

Northwood had winning records each of Manalo’s three years at Northwood, finishing 24-7 last season. The Timberwolves won CIF 3A playoff games over Quartz Hills and Huntington Beach, before losing to Bosco Tech in the quarterfinals. It was Northwood’s best record and most wins since 2018.

Manalo said he has accepted the co-head coaching position with Henry Frierson at Diamond Bar. Frierson was Manalo’s coach in his final season playing with the Brahmas in 2014. Manalo was a four-year starter at Diamond Bar from 2010 to 2014.

“Extremely grateful for the support I’ve had these past three years from Northwood High School and will forever cherish the lifelong relationship I’ve been able to foster in the community in addition to my teaching at Tustin,” Manalo said. “This decision did not come lightly.

“The opportunity to not only work with but keep learning from my mentor Henry Frierson as co-head coach is something of a dream come true. On top of that and at the forefront, I get to be closer to home and spend time with my family as opposed to being on the road. With that said, I’m very grateful for the Diamond Bar High School administration and the amazing staff of the boys basketball program for this opportunity. I can’t wait to give back to the community I grew up in.”

Diamond Bar was 17-11 last year and finished third in the Hacienda League.

Manalo’s hiring was announced by Diamond Bar officials on X Friday noting that Manalo “brings unparalleled dedication and a legacy of excellence.”

Northwood co-athletic director Sierra Wang said that Tony De La Cruz has been named the new Northwood coach. De La Cruz played at UC Irvine before playing professionally in the Philippines for 18 years. He then went on to coach professionally in the Philippines for four years.

—Tim Burt, OC Sports Zone; timburt@ocsportszone.com