WITH their playoffs hopes either slim or none, Blackwater Elite team owner Dioceldo Sy has declared a plan to revamp his team after the PBA Philippine Cup.
“Wala, mahina ang team namin. I think we really need to beef up our lineup,” Sy told Spin.ph shortly after the Elite suffered their ninth straight loss in their inaugural PBA conference at the hands of Barako Bull on Wednesday.
Sy is so disappointed he is now using Blackwater's final two games of the season-opening conference, against powerhouse Talk 'N Text and San Miguel Beer, as virtual tryouts to help him decide on who among the players will stay and who will have to go.
“Siguro, I will buy out the contracts of half of my team. Sorry, but we need to step up our campaign,” said Sy, who is behind the championship conquest of Ever Bilena franchise in the now defunct PBL and PBA D-League.
“Our franchise knows how to win. And we admit nabigla kami in our jump to the big league. And we have learned, kaya we now know what to do,” said the patron of the NU Lady Bulldogs that swept the last season of the UAAP en route to the women’s basketball team title.
Sy claimed he has already asked his coaching staff to put premium on younger players when they revamp their team for the Commissioner’s Cup.
“Siguro kailangan mas bata. Yung formation kasi ng team ngayon, I let the coaching staff decide. Pero after this winless campaign, I decided to share my inputs na,” he said.
“Kailangan we have to look at the team three years from now, we must invest in putting in young legs,” Sy added.
The amiable team owner also praised the resilience and work ethic of rookie guard Brian Heruela, who was relegated to the reserves early in the conference before earning a regular place in coach Leo Isaac's rotation.
“I like what I am seeing from him. His attitude will surely become a benchmark of the team we will parade next conference,” he said. “Sana the mindset of the other players in the team will be like Brian. He refuses to lose."
Asked if a coaching change is in the offing for Blackwater especially after GlobalPort has decided to relieve Pido Jarencio as head coach, Sy reiterated his full support for current chief mentor Leo Isaac.
“No, I gave him three years. He’ll stay. I just hope it will be a different campaign next conference,” he said.
“We will not change our coach. Nasa players ang problema ng team ngayon. And that is what we are going to address this offseason,” added the Blackwater big boss.
“Kaya I am telling our players. It’s time they shape up and follow the system. Otherwise, pasensyahan kami,” he said.