JUNEL Baculi admits Globalport got stronger with the acquisition of star playmaker Sol Mercado and athletic big man Japeth Aguilar, but he admits that putting the pieces together to form a winning combination will be the hard part.
"I was informed of the trade just now," Baculi told Spin.ph, minutes after the team's workout at the Moro Lorenzo gym. "Sabi ko nga before I'm very glad this (trade) happened but the real work starts now because it's important for us to build chemistry."
On Thursday, Commissioner Chito Salud approved two deals that completed a major reshuffle for the Batang Pier, the first a deal for Aguilar in exchange for 6-7 slotman Rabeh Al-Hussaini.
The second was a six-man trade with Meralco that saw Globalport give up Rey Guevarra, Josh Vanlandingham and rookie forward Vic Manuel in exchange for Mercado, rookie big man Kelly Nabong, freshman guard JP Belencion and Yousif Aljamal plus a 2015 first-round pick.
Baculi said it would take some time for the newcomers to get used to his system but he is hopeful they would blend well with Globalport stars Willie Miller and Gary David.
Baculi said he already talked with Aguilar's father Peter in an overseas call and expects the 6-9 former Ateneo shot blocker to join the team by early next week.
"With our import playing the center position, he'll play the four for us," added the former Barako Bull mentor.
Baculi has inherited a team that only won once in 14 games during its debut conference in the Philippine Cup.