The Bossing parade a new-look line-up featuring RK Ilagan, Mike DiGregorio, and Tyrus Hill, part of a deal that sent Barkley Ebona and future draft picks to Converge.
The Road Warriors will also feature Sean Anthony and Jake Pascual after also being acquired in a trade that included TNT and Phoenix Super LPG, which incidentally will see action in the second game of the Wednesday doubleheader.
Justin Chua and Paul Varilla are also expected to suit up for TNT in its game against Phoenix Super LPG, which got Jjay Alejandro and Raul Soyud from their first opponent of the conference.
Blackwater coach Ariel Vanguardia believes that the Bossing were able to improve on their depth by getting Ilagan, DiGregorio, and Hill.
“’Yun ang objective namin kasi dahil ayaw na namin mangyari na kapag na-injure ‘yung mga starter, depleted ang bench. Ngayon, RK is a point guard, dos si Mike, and Ty is a three. All three positions, nagkaroon kami ng depth,” said Vanguardia.
Injuries hounded Blackwater in its Commissioner’s Cup campaign but JVee Casio and Joshua Torralba are eligible to play for the NLEX game, while Troy Rosario is still recovering from plantar fasciitis.
NLEX, meanwhile, will be competing with Jonathon Simmons, who will be eligible to play on Wednesday after getting a clearance from Fiba to see action with the Road Warriors.
Aside from players, TNT and Phoenix also had major changes in their coaching staff before the Governors’ Cup.
With Chot Reyes concentrating on Gilas Pilipinas’ campaign in the Fiba Basketball World Cup, team manager Jojo Lastimosa has been delegated as head coach while also hiring Serbian coach Slavoljub ‘Lale’ Guronovic as active consultant.
Reyes will still play a part in TNT’s campaign in the Governors’ Cup as senior consultant.
Jamike Jarin, meanwhile, has also taken over Phoenix on an interim basis with Topex Robinson accepting an offer to coach De La Salle in the UAAP. Jarin will lead a Fuel Masters squad that has become younger following the trade.
“We got younger when we acquired Raul and Jjay. I think we are the youngest. That’s a big factor. We are building the franchise is moving forward, getting the younger ones, staying healthy not just for this conference but for the next years to come.
“What you can’t fast track right now is playing together. We have to mature really fast. I’m confident with the leadership of Jason Perkins and captain RJ Jazul, and the veterans, we will be there,” said Jarin.
The Phoenix interim coach said he hopes his players will be able to match a well-rested Tropang GIGA squad that is coming off an early exit in the Commissioner’s Cup but remains formidable nevertheless.