BARAKO Bull head coach Junel Baculi hinted at that some “roster movement” in the coming days is needed if the Energy Boosters are to enter the 38th PBA season armed and ready.
While the squad added frontcourt depth with the acquisition of bullstrong Enrico Villanueva, the loss of two-time MVP Willie Miller left a gaping hole in the team’s two-guard position at the end of a four-team trade that also involved LA Tenorio and JV Casio.
“Willie is no doubt the leader of the team and our best scorer. But we had to make some changes, may inaalok kaming iba pero siya (Miller) and hinihingi. We had to give up Willie with a heavy heart,” Baculi told Spin.ph.
The former Letran superstar guard finished last season with averages of 14.9 points, 4.5 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 1.0 steal — numbers Baculi said that might be hard to find at this juncture.
“At this point, we are looking to complement Ronald Tubid and Roger Yap with another two-guard player who could help add scoring depth to the team. Siyempre, iba pa rin yung caliber ni WIllie,” added Baculi, who confirmed that the Energy Boosters are currently engaging in trade talks with other ball clubs.
The 6’5” Villanueva can no doubt add muscle and inside presence for the Energy Boosters where he is expected to work well with fellow Ateneo alumnus Doug Kramer, Leo Najorda and rookie center Dave Marcelo, one of three freshmen Barako Bull drafted recently.
“Dave is tough and really good. He is a fast learner. He could easily work well with our veterans,” noted the Barako Bull mentor.
Baculi also said chemistry is something the team will have to work on in the next three weeks prior to the opening of the season since they have a number of new faces playing for them. Yap is rejoining the PBA after playing for the San Miguel Beermen in the Asean Basketball League, while rookie guards Lester Alvarez and Chris Monfort are the other new names in the Energy Boosters’ lineup.
“We need to get them involved in the system. So we need to make some adjustments during the first conference and try to play scrimmages with other teams para malaman namin ano pa ang puwede naming gawin to improve,” said Baculi.