NEW name, intact roster.
With focus on enhancing team cohesion, Columbian Dyip is bringing back the team's nucleus from the last Philippine Cup to the coming PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
The franchise had just renewed the contracts of Carlo Lastimosa, Dylan Ababou, Bong Galanza, Roider Cabrera, and rookies Dan Sara and Jan Jamon for the mid-season conference that starts on April 22.
Assistant team manager Doc Ivy Bautista confirmed the signings on Monday as the team steps up its preparation for the import-laden showcase where it will parade St. Joseph’s product C.J Aiken.
“Intact ang team. Lahat ng expiry from last conference were re-signed,” said Bautista, who’s helping team manager Joe Lipa and coach Ricky Dandan in overseeing the team. “Management believes in investing sa mga young talent.”
Also coming on board for the team formerly known as KIA Picanto are rookie Andreas Cahilig and Jeremy King, both acquired from the unrestricted free agent list.
The Picanto finished dead-last in the recent Philippine Cup, where they posted a 1-10 (win-loss) record, its lone victory coming at the expense of Rain or Shine.
But it did show in some instances what it can do as a team as proven in its final game against defending champion San Miguel when the Picanto gave the Beermen a huge scare before falling short in the end, 108-106, after Marcio Lassiter’s game-winning basket.
Bautista said the team is holding practice twice-a-day, with weight and aqua training in between, while the players watch what they eat.
“That’s for them to gain endurance and enhancement of muscles involved in playing basketball,” said the Columbian Dyip official, who noted all players lost weight since they began reporting for training almost a month ago.
“Iba ang preparasyon namin for this conference.”
The Picanto, who won over a Terrence Romeo-less TnT Katropa in a recent tune-up game, 101-96, also held a team building at the team’s practice facility at the Azure Urban Resort and Residences in Bicutan.
“Mas maganda ang samahan ng team ngayon.We’re like one big family,” said Bautista. “Hopefully, maganda ang ipakita namin this conference.”
Columbian Dyip opens its campaign in the second conference against Blackwater in the 4:30 p.m. curtain raiser on opening day.