ANTIPOLO CITY – A two-month break will give Blackwater enough time to prepare for the mid-season PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
Coach Bong Ramos said the team has learned its lesson well ina doomed Philippine Cup campaign that saw the Elite play a single tune-up games during the preseason - a no-no for a franchise which has five new players, three of them rookies.
“Kung nakapaghanda lang ang team ng mas mahaba-haba, nakita ko kung ano yung kayang ibigay ng mga players, kung hanggang saan lang,” he said.
“Sa game ko kasi makikita yun, hindi naman sa ensayo. Kasi pag naglalaro, kasi ang galaw, nakikita ko. So sana nung nagsisimula pa lang yung All-Filipino alam ko na.”
The Elite ended their campaign in the season-opening conference with a 97-87 loss to Magnolia on Friday night, capping a disappointing season that saw them win just two games in 11 outings.
But with Blackwater not returning to action until the third week of May, it gives the Elite the chance to regroup and come out a lot better for the import-laced Commissioner's Cup where the average height ceiling is at 6-foot-10.
Ramos said the Elite are obviously looking for a big import who is a threat in the middle.
“Siyempre kailangan natin malaki, sa malaki ka muna,” he said.
And then there’s the anticipated arrival of No. 2 overall pick Bobby Ray Parks, who, by the time the second conference gets going, has wrapped up his commitment with Alab Plipinas in the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL).
But Ramos is tempering expectations at the moment.
“Rayray, as of now, hindi ko kasi kontrolado yan. No comment ako kasi wala pa namang sinasabi (management),” said the Blackwater mentor. “Alam ko after ABL dito yan.”
Ramos said he’s giving the team a break for the rest of March before returning to practice by the second week of April.