RAIN or Shine coach Caloy Garcia admitted frustration over the uncertainty his team – and the rest of the league– is facing amid the ongoing standoff in the PBA board entering the new season.
The Elasto Painters have opened training camp this week in preparation for the league's 43rd season, which has been scheduled to open shop on December 17, but there are fears it could be postponed no thanks to infighting over the tenure of commissioner Chito Narvasa.
Only the Christmas Day playdate at the Philippine Arena in Bulacan featuring the old rivals Ginebra and Star has been announced so far.
“We're still being positive about the opening on the 17th, pero syempre, sinasabi rin ng management na baka ma-move, depending on what's going to happen sa board,” Garcia told SPIN.ph after their tune-up game against Centro Escolar University on Wednesday. “It's kind of frustrating also because you're preparing, but at the same time, you don't know when it's going to start.”
“Pero syempre, trabaho 'to eh, so tuloy-tuloy pa rin ang ensayo namin,” he was quick to add.
ROS governor Mert Mondragon didn't make the trip to Los Angeles for a planning session that failed to push through in the absence of a quorum.
Garcia didn't know Mondragon's reason for missing the trip, but the coach upheld the stand of the team – along with six others that form the majority – regarding the reign of Narvasa owing to the lopsided trade that saw this year's top pick going to San Miguel Beer, which only had to give up three benchwarmers and a future pick to Kia.
“Stand ng Rain or Shine is ... not renewing the commissioner's contract or stay,” Garcia said. “Ang ano lang naman nila boss nung nag-usap kami was basically, sila na mag-usap dun, pero of course, they didn't like yung nangyari sa draft. That's one thing, pero syempre, may mga factors na hindi ko masasagot eh. Sila boss na makakasagot dun.”
While he's willing to accept the controversial trade if it's within the rules, Garcia would also like to see some revisions in the rules in terms of deals involving top picks.
“Ako, I will stand to what I keep on saying: if it's within the rules, then you cannot complain about it, but I think they just have to change the rules on who to trade,” Garcia said. “Kasi, kung titingnan mo naman, dapat at least kahit papaano, you really have to give up somebody for the first pick. If he's the first pick, that means future franchise player, so ang kapalit niya dapat player who plays long minutes or at least isang key player."
“Ang sa amin naman, it's more of a challenge,” Garcia said as he bared a new offensive system that will give more responsibility to his big men - and give teams more different looks.
“Kaya yung mga ginagawa naming plays is basically to try to get at least an advantage (against their big men),” Garcia said. “But it's also hard to defy the odds that you can beat them consistently, especially in a series, kasi pareho silang magaling coaches eh (Cone, Austria). The pressure's also on them that they have to prove something.”