MINUTES after his team was announced as one of the PBA's newest ballclubs, Blackwater Sports team owner Dioceldo Sy was hardly fazed by the formidable task of putting together a competitive lineup in the pro league.
Despite the three new expansion teams getting no concession from the board in the formation of its lineup, a defiant Sy vowed form a team that “plays hard-nosed defense and will push the basketball at any given opportunity.”
“We will be a defensive team that will run and gun as usual,” said Sy, who was grinning from ear to ear when he left the PBA office along with his brother Silliman and his longtime business confidante Wilbert Loa.
Sy has long been a fixture in the local basketball scene, having served as the chairman of the defunct Philippine Basketball League more than 10 years ago.
When the PBL folded up a few years ago, Sy made a grand return to the basketball scene by fielding in Blackwater Sports in the PBA Developmental League.
Blackwater went on to win last year’s PBA D-League Foundation Cup title after beating the NLEX Road Warriors in the Finals with longtime Ateneo backup center Justin Chua churning out huge numbers for the Elite in the championship round.
Chua was eventually selected as the 10th overall pick by San Mig Super Coffee in last year’s PBA Rookie Draft, before being traded a few days later to GlobalPort.
Like Columbia Motors and NLX, however, Blackwater faces a daunting task of forming a team from scratch since the three expansion teams were denied direct-hire and rookie draft concessions given to other new clubs.
Still, the Blackwater big boss said playing in the pro league is a dream come true for him as he expects nothing more than a fruitful partnership.
“It is indeed a pleasure to be part of an elite club like the PBA. I hope this will be a fruitful partnership and a successful one,” he added.