BLACKWATER coach Bong Ramos admitted the loss of Poy Erram and Paul Zamar is a huge blow to the team, but expressed confidence that the holdovers will step up come the PBA Philippine Cup.
Ramos said he is counting on Mac Belo, Raymar Jose, Ael Banal, and rookies Paul Desiderio and Abu Tratter to fill the void after Blackwater broke up the team that finished fifth in the last Governors Cup by trading both Erram and Zamar.
The veteran coach said Zamar's departure will give Banal and Ael Banal the chance to prove their worth with the Elite.
“I will say na napilayan naman talaga kami,” said Ramos after practice at the Reyes Gym. “I’m expecting na ‘yung position ni Zamar ay mapupunuan ni Desiderio at magkakaroon ng time si Ael Banal. I believe na it’s time for him to show his ability to play and show what he can do to help the team.”
Ramos said the void left by the 6-8 Erram will be harder to fill, but he's counting on a collective effort from Belo, Jose, Chris Javier, and rookie Tratter.
“It’s a matter of adjusting ‘yung mga tao ko. For example, apat ‘yung big man ko, pero lima na ‘yan kasi inadjust ko na rin si Mac. Minsan four at three. ‘Yun ‘yung sinasabi ko na i-suswing mo muna ‘yung iba.
“I’ll see to it na magawan ko ng paraan ‘yung pagkukulang. Ang hindi lang talaga mapapalitan is ‘yung height ni Erram. Tiyagain natin sa All-Filipino,” said Ramos.
Ramos expressed confidence that Blackwater will remain competitive come the Philippine Cup slated to open on January 13.
What the team lacks in height, Ramos said the Elite will compensate with defense and hustle.
“Nakita niyo naman ang ensayo namin. Maliliit kami. Ang ilalaban namin, ‘yung extra effort namin, ‘yung depensa namin, ‘yung magkakaisa kami sa mga ginagawa namin, i-embrace naming ‘yung sistema na ginagawa namin.
"I believe that there will be a chance na makakuha kami ng panalo one game at a time. We will cross the bridge when we get there,” said Ramos.