THE coaching staff of expansion club Kia Motors led by Manny Pacquiao can’t help but be excited about the upcoming dispersal draft as they try to build a competitive squad for the team’s debut in the PBA’s 40th season this October.
Team Kia coaching staff member Louie Gonzales is now even more confident as the status change of NLEX from expansion team to regular member after the approved sale of the Air21 franchise last week gives Kia Motors more choices in the dispersal draft set July 18.
“We’re really excited at sobrang hinihintay na namin yun talaga. Kasi though nandyan na yung sistema at may naumpisahan na, sana mangyari na yung araw na yun para mas maging decided na kami kung ano magiging direksyon namin,” Gonzales told Spin.ph, shortly after the team’s tryout at the UCCL High Court inside the Uni-lab compound in Mandaluyong City.
Among the former pros Spin.ph spotted at the Team Kia tryouts were Richard Alvarez , the 2004 top rookie pick by Shell, Junjun Cabatu, Richard Alonzo, Emerson Oreta, Khasim Mirza, Lou Gatumbato, Angelus Raymundo, Reil Cervantes and rookie guard LA Revilla.
The tryouts have given Pacquiao and top assistant Glen Capacio an idea what kind and how strong a team they can build, but Gonzales said no one is considered a shoo-in.
“We do regular training, though we know wala pang team. Pero at least, our team is moving forward, at may nakikita na kami, di lang sa players, pero pati sa sistema ng Team Kia,” explained Gonzales, who has been with Capacio at Far Eastern University and the Philippine Patriots in the Asean Basketball League as well as Globalport the past few years.