AFTER the initial trepidation, Barako Bull players have shown the willingness to buy into Rajko Toroman's system in the hope of making a serious run under the controversial coach in the PBA Commissioner's Cup beginning on February 8.
The former coach of the national team has been known for his tough drills and long practices, but after two days with the Serbian mentor Barako Bull players have shown the willingness to make it work.
“Coach Toroman is bringing his own system. Slowly but surely, one day at a time, the most important thing for our team is for everyone to buy into the system and trust coach Rajko in what he’s trying to do," said playmaker Josh Urbiztondo.
“That’s the most important part because if we’re on the same page, and with our import, we’ll be a strong contender this conference.”
Guard Ronald Tubid admitted that it isn't easy getting used to Toroman’s system considering the condensed practice that requires a high-level of intensity and effort every minute.
“Siguro di pa lang sanay kaming mga players pero maganda kasi yung drills niya. Forty-five minutes na tuloy-tuloy tapos water break, then 30 minutes drills uli. Pero maganda siya para sa team kasi madadala namin iyan sa laro,” said the 31-year-old.
Veteran Mick Pennisi, one of the team's senior citizens at 37, expressed hope that given time, the Energy Cola can get used to Toroman's system and be a better team because of it.
“I think the drills are tough but necessary, we’re gonna learn a lot from the drills and I’m pretty sure it will flow over to the team later,” Pennisi told Spin.ph after the team's practice on Wednesday at the Hoops Center.
“He’s brought a new system, and it will take us a little while to learn it but once we get the pieces down, get the offense and defense going, I think we’ll gonna be tough. I think we can do some damage this (second) conference.
“I think it will be important for us to play a lot of pre-tournament games to iron out some kinks…But with the system, I’ll be taking open shots and I’m looking forward to this conference that’s why I work extra hard in practice.”