NEW coach Biboy Ravanes has high hopes that new acquisitions Solomon Mercado and Rico Maierhofer can help turn around a star-studded franchise that has underachieved over the last seven conferences.
Only one week since assuming the head coaching post, Ravanes said the atmosphere was positive in practice and the energy high as everybody welcomed the entry of Mercado and Maierhofer, who came in via seven-player, four-team trade that saw he Beermen let go of starting guard Alex Cabagnot.
“I saw a lot of positive things during our first week of practice, parang it’s some sort of like revival na nangyayari sa team kahit na may dalawang bago kami. Parang bagong spirit ang nasa team,” Ravanes confided to Spin.ph.
The Beermen took a day off on Tuesday to travel to Tagaytay for some team bonding at the rest house of San Miguel Corp. basketball operations head Robert Non.
“Team bonding lang muna kami. Siyempre may mga ilang bago din kami sa team,” added Ravanes, who succeeded Gee Abanilla.
Abanilla was promoted to team manager, while American consultant Todd Purves will be taking a more active role in helping Ravanes starting in the Commissioner’s Cup.
Ravanes said the coaching staff has been finding ways to adjust the team's mode of attack, weeks after the disappointing Philippine Cup semifinal series loss to Rain or Shine.
“The coaches made some brainstorming recently and made the decision to change some things. Kasi yung hinahanap namin, eh yung ways na di sana kami kakapusin,” explained the longtime San Miguel assistant coach and noted defensive wizard during his playing days.
“Tingin namin with Sol and Rico, pupunan nila yung department na kulang namin. Kasi si Sol, yung style niya, we feel babagay sa team namin tapos si Rico can add depth sa bench,” he added.
At the moment, the Beermen are still finalizing their negotiations with their import reinforcement for the mid-season conference. Ravanes declined to name their import prospect for the time being.