ZARK’S Burger kept modest expectations in its debut in the PBA D-League but insisted that the Jawbreakers won’t be pushovers when they see action in the upcoming Foundation Cup.
As one of the newcomers in the 11-team conference, the Jawbreakers are not among the teams tipped to make the playoffs. But coach Jade Padrigao vowed the Robby Celiz-led squad will try to hold their own against the seasoned teams like Tanduay, Cafe France, and Aspirants' Cup champion Cignal.
"Yung mga players namin now is galing sa grassroots. We are giving an opportunity for the players pero kailangan competitive pa rin kami," said Padrigao during the team's press conference Friday.
"We will be competitive this coming season... For every game, lagi kaming may goals. I will not promise a top four or finals pero carrying the Zark's name, we need to be competitive."
The ultimate goal, however, for Zark’s is to give its ‘lesser-known’ players the break they need as they aspire to reach the pros.
"Goal namin is makilala yung mga players and help them reach the next level," Padrigao said.
"Who knows? Players like Robby (Celiz) ma-call up sa PBA. It's about giving the players a break. Yung mga ibang players, binibigyan din natin ng chance."
Although the team only got together for two weeks, Celiz is confident the Jawbreakers will find their groove in time for the opening on May 25 as the lineup has a number of players with D-League experience.
"Madami na nag D-League sa amin kaya sanay na rin sila. More on familiarity na lang sa mga plays," said Celiz.
Other players who will suit up for the Jawbreakers are Jamil Sheriff, Joseph Nalos, Clark Bautista, Chris Cayabyab, James Mangahas, RR de Leon, Mark Juruena, RJ Argamino, Steven Cufal, Job Cariaga, Jerome Ferrer.