BARAKO Bull fell short of the target in Dubai, but the fourth-place finish in the 2nd Al Shabab Basketball Championship has given the team's coaching staff and players renewed confidence as they prepare for the season-ending PBA Governors Cup.
Charles Tiu, one of Barako Bull coach Rajko Toroman’s trusted deputies, said the Dubai tournament gave the team the chance to build chemisty, blend with import Michael Singletary, and give bench players the much-needed experience.
“Ang purpose naman talaga ng team is build chemistry and really give some of the guys the time to play, like (rookie guard) Emman (Monfort), Keith Jensen and even Allein Maliksi, who played well,” Tiu told Spin.ph.
Tiu said since Barako Bull’s early exit from the Commissioner’s Cup, the team only had a 10-day break before resuming practice with import prospect Singletary.
Singletary, fresh from an NBA D-League stint with the Rio Grande Vipers, was given a passing mark by Toroman, according to Tiu.
“Magde-decide pa kami whether siya (Singletary) na nga ang import namin, but so far, positive naman si coach Rajko sa kanya. He showed he can play. He’s a good guy and work hard and fits the team,” added Tiu.
The 6-foot-5 Singletary finished with 24 points in Barako Bull’s 76-84 loss to Kuwait’s Al Sahel over the weekend in Dubai as the Energy Cola settled for fourth place in the Al Shabab tournament.
But before that, the Energy Cola had strung up four straight wins with an average margin of 16.5 points, a run stopped by Hoops-Lebanon in the semifinals.
The team takes a month-long break before resuming practice on June 24 as Barako Bull tries to improve on its back-to-back ninth-place finishes this season.
Toroman currently is taking his vacation in Serbia with his family and will be back on June 23.