With a mixture of young and veterans players, Coach Leo Isaac really likes the chances of expansion team Blackwater when the Elite debut in the 40th Season of the PBA on Oct. 19.
Actually, Isaac thinks he has a team that is capable of pulling some surprises opposite the league’s heavyweights and is capable of making the ‘top eight’
– the quarterfinal playoffs.
“Puwede (top eight), though we still need a lot of patience to get to the top eight,” said Isaac as the Blackwater team was formally introduced in a press launch at the Tao Yuan Restaurant in Ermita, Manila.
“Basta sa amin, hindi kami mangangako, pero palagi lang namin gagawin ang lahat ng makakaya namin and try to get the victory every time we play,” added Isaac, who is in his second coaching stint in the PBA after previously calling the shots for Barako Bull.
Blackwater, which will carry the moniker Elite in Asia’s first pro league, will have veteran leaders like Eddie Laure and Paul Artadi, who were selected in the dispersal draft, and also Sunday Salvacion, who was obtained in a three-way trade last week from Meralco.
However, the former Ginebra player will be counting on his young guns once the battles begins, like former San Beda stalwarts Ogie Menor and Bam Gamalinda, and Adamson’s Alex Nuyles.
The three, together JR Cawaling, JP Erram, Gilbert Bulawan, Bryan Faundo and Christopher Timberlake, were also taken during the dispersal draft after they were left unprotected by their respective PBA teams.
Also expected to contribute for the Dioceldo Sy-owned team are rookies, Juami Tiongson, Frank Golla and Brian Heruela.
“I have players who can provide the hustle and players na natanggal sa ibang teams who will play hard. May kasabihan nga na, bilog ang bola, but we will give other PBA teams a run for their money,” said Isaac.
As for Sy, who used to own a team in the now-defunct PBL before joining the PBA’s Developmental League that won a title last season, he is confi dent that the Elite will have a good performance despite being a newcomer in the PBA.
“Coach Leo has been working with us for the last 10 years, and with his being a former Ginebra player, he can bring in the never-say-die, fighting spirit to our team in the PBA,” said Sy.