COLUMBIAN coach Johnedel Cardel hopes its recent tune-up game victory is a start of something good in the coming season of the PBA.
The Dyip won over NorthPort, 97-83, on Monday in their first tune-up match in preparation for the 44th season of the PBA.
Cardel insisted the Dyip are still far from competitive form despite the victory.
“Malayo pa,” said Cardel. “This is only a tune-up game. NorthPort is a good team. They have a superstar in Stanley Pringle, (Sean) Anthony and (Mo) Tautuaa. They are very deep. Nagkataon lang na maganda ’yung linaro namin.”
“But I told the guys, this is a good beginning this coming all-Filipino conference,” said Cardel.
Coming off a dismal season that saw them win just six games, Cardel said the Dyip must treat each game of the Philippine Cup as a championship game.
“That’s 11 games. That’s 11 tough games. Parang championship game because the last time, kapag all-Filipino, mahirap manalo. We will try our best and we will have to improve our winning mark nung mga previous Columbian seasons,” said Cardel.
So far, Cardel is impressed with the contributions of Columbian’s rookies CJ Perez, JP Calvo, Jeepy Faundo and Cyrus Tabi.
“I’m really impressed with them. I told the guys na even though you are a rookie, don’t act like a rookie. Gusto ko maging veterans kayo. What you did in your amateur days, what you’ve accomplished, gawin niyo rin,” said Cardel.
Cardel also said that for the past month, their veteran crew has been working doubly hard to improve on their game, particularly on offense.
“We started earlier, three weeks ahead of the other teams. I told them na we have to improve our shooting. We don’t have a post player and I know I have big man who can shoot. Kapag libre kayo, just take it. Kapag poste tayo, it’s a low percentage shot. Sabi ko, everytime you are free, take it. If you miss, it’s okay. May bawi naman,” said Cardel.