BORACAY Rum coach Lawrence Chongson said the team’s working relationship with marquee player Chris Banchero has been improving as the Waves make a push for the playoffs in the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup.
After reaching as far as the semifinals of the previous conference – a franchise-high, the Waves suddenly found themselves at the bottom half of the 14-team standings with a 4-5 win-loss card just before the Christmas break.
Chongson blamed the team’s lackluster play on its poor preparation prior to the conference.
“Nasa 70 percent lang kami. Hindi naging maganda ang preparasyon namin. May mga bagay na hindi namin na-control. Safe to say, may two losses na could have been a different outcome,” said Chongson.
Another factor Chongson pointed out is the relationship between Banchero and some holdovers of the team.
Without elaborating, the long-haired coach admitted the lack of chemistry between the team after the former Asean Basketball League (ABL) Finals MVP was selected by Boracay Rum in the first-ever D-League draft.
“At the onset, may kanya-kanya silang mundo noon. Merong dapat mag-give way,” Chongson said.
But the outspoken mentor said all things have been ironed out with the camaraderie of the team improving every single day.
“Maganda na, malaki ang kina-ganda. Pinoint-out ko rin sa kanya ‘yun (Banchero),” said Chongson of the team's relationship with the former San Miguel Beermen.
Boracay Rum entered the Christmas break with a win over Zambales M-Builders with Banchero, Jeff Viernes, Roider Cabrera, and Paolo Taha taking the lead in an 83-66 victory.
With only three games left in the elimination round, Chongson is taking a no-pressure approach as the Waves try to win as many games as possible and see where it takes them.
“Hindi ko na iniisip ‘yun (quarterfinal chances). Even if we can’t make it this time around, we want to carry ‘yung kung anong momentum ang makuha namin para madala namin sa next conference,” said Chongson.