PROOF that it is in the PBA D-League for the long haul, Informatics has acquired two battle-scarred collegiate stars and three other significant recruits as part of the Icons' buildup for the next conference.
In their bid to contend for the title following a lackluster inaugural conference, the Icons have tapped the services of University of Santo Tomas gunner Jeric Teng and Letran slotman Jam Cortes, along with Rocky Acidre, Chris Camus, and Mike Gamboa.
Informatics lost all but one of its 10 games in a forgettable campaign during the Aspirants Cup.
The Icons have since released some of the players who were part of that team such as Marvin Hayes, Kirk del Rosario, Kojak Melegrito, Bryan Cruz, and Jerald Bautista, but retained the core of Informatics’ varsity team and journeymen amateurs in leading scorer Moncrief Rogado and big man Mark Benitez to go along with their new acquisitions.
Icons assistant coach Buboy Mata believes Teng and Cortes’ experience in the Finals of their respective leagues will be crucial in the team’s bid for respectability next conference.
Teng helped the Tigers reach last year’s UAAP Finals and eventually led the España-based squad to the Philippine Collegiate Champions League title, while Cortes was also a vital cog in the Knights’ improbable run to the NCAA Finals last year.
“They will bring us the winning attitude,” said Mata, one of coach Buds Reyes’ deputies.
Acidre, Camus, and Gamboa also had relatively successful stints with Arellano, UST, and University of Philippines, respectively.
“We have learned a lot from last season and the experience we gained will help us,” Mata said. “We were last place last season and the only way for us is up.”