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    Vanguardia says 'hell month' of July will be true test of Blackwater's mettle

    Jul 5, 2022
    Ariel Vanguardia Blackwater Ato Ular
    PHOTO: Jerome Ascano

    BLACKWATER coach Ariel Vanguardia can't stress enough that the Bossing's splendid start to the PBA 47th Season Philippine Cup is no reason to celebrate.

    He points to a grueling July schedule to stress his point.

    The Bossing begin the month on Friday with a clash against Phoenix Super LPG, then face an acid test when it clashes with San Miguel on Sunday - the second of three games in a six-day span for the minnows.

    [See By drafting wisely and keeping core, Blackwater starting to turn corner]

    After the Rain or Shine clash next Wednesday, Blackwater will still have NLEX, Converge, and Magnolia on its schedule to close out the eliminations of the Philippine Cup - a stretch its coach described as a 'hell month.'

    “Parang playoffs na ‘tong July namin,” said Vanguardia. “Tatlong back-to-back, parang playoffs.”

    There is no denying that Blackwater has become a more competitive team than it was in past seasons. The Bossing started the conference with a franchise-record 4-1 win-loss record capped by a 90-89 win over Meralco last June 30.

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      Vanguardia said there is still a lot more room for improvement for his team despite the fine play of Jvee Casio and rookie Ato Ular, who on Tuesday was named as the Player of the Week by the PBA Press Corps.

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      Vanguardia also said the next set of games will definitely prepare Blackwater for the playoffs, if the team even gets there.

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      “We have an unbelievable June. But come July, we have a hell of July. It’s really nothing to celebrate. I think we are not yet in the playoffs. We probably need to win two more games to assure us of a playoff spot.”

      To continue its consistent play, Blackwater needs other players to step up at the most crucial time, Vanguardia said.

      “We need a deeper bench come July na parang playoffs na rin,” said Vanguardia.

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      PHOTO: Jerome Ascano
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