BLACKWATER team owner Dioceldo Sy said he has stopped pursuing ageless big man Asi Taulava following the sale of Air21’s franchise to the NLEX Warriors last week.
“Ayaw ko munang kausapin eh nandun na eh, yung Air21 di ba NLEX na?” Sy told Spin.ph during halftime of Game One of the PBA Governors Cup Finals on Tuesday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Sy earlier said he’s willing to offer Taulava a maximum two-year deal after seeing 'The Rock' average 17.4 points, 12.3 rebounds and 3.5 assists in what proved to be Air21’s farewell campaign in the PBA in the Governors Cup.
But with NLEX acquiring Air21 lock, stock and barrel, Sy now intends to build the core of his team from the dispersal draft where Blackwater and fellow newcomer Team Kia will be picking alternately on July 18.
“Depending on what’s available (from the dispersal draft) but we have to wait till the dispersal of players, kasi dun mo pa lang makikita,” he added.
Although the amiable Blackwater big boss isn’t entertaining thoughts of drafting a solid big man in the mold of the 6-foot-9 Taulava, he’s hopeful that they could have a core of six to seven veteran players who could bring stability to the team in its maiden season this October.
“Kasi ang habol lang namin, sana maaga kami makapag-form para may chemistry. Eh we just need some veterans para di mag-panic, mga six or seven (players), importante yun,” he added.
Blackwater, who ceded its PBA D-League Foundation Cup crown to NLEX early last month, is holding open tryouts for veteran free agents and incoming rookies every Tuesdays and Thursdays at the SGS gym in Araneta Avenue, Quezon City.
So far, former Alaska forward Eddie Laure has been seen joining the tryouts, along with several players from Blackwater and a few Fil-foreign players.
NLEX’s transition from its original application as an expansion team to acquiring a PBA franchise leaves Team Kia and Blackwater as the two new teams for the pro league next season.
The remaining nine-member ballclubs are given until July 11 to submit their list of protected players.
Players who are left unprotected will be automatically included in the dispersal draft scheduled on July 18.