IT’S a long Holiday break for many, but not for new franchise Blackwater.
Determined to erase the stigma of a woeful showing in its maiden conference in the PBA, the expansion team decided to sacrifice the Yuletide celebration with their continuous daily grind in the gym.
“Habang nagbabakasyon ang mga tao, di naman kami nagpapahinga kasi walang reason para magpahinga eh,” Isaac related to Spin.ph over the weekend.
“Yung ibang teams nga e naglalaro pa sa semis, so kami naglalalaro din.”
The Elite finished the season-opening Philippine Cup without a win in 11 games.
But in their bid to bounce back strong, they’ve began practicing for the Commissioner’s Cup just a few days after their all-Filipino campaign ended.
The team likewise flew in import Chris Charles as early as possible.
The 7-foot-1 Charles, one of two seven-footers in the second conference, is coming off a championship run with Bangkok Hi-Tech in the Asean Basketball League (ABL).
Hopefully, his winning mindset could rub off on Blackwater, according to Isaac.
“Sinasama na namin siya sa organization para makuha niya yung offensive system. Mabilis naman siya maka-pick up,” said the Elite coach.
Charles won his second straight ABL MVP after averaging 21.4 points, 14.0 rebounds, and 4.0 blocks per contest for Hi-Tech this past season.
Isaac is confident Charles can bring in the intimidating presence and the solid post threat the team lacked during the first conference.
“With Chris, magkakaroon na kami ng go-to-guy and more intimidation because of his size,” he said. “At the same time, makakalaban na kami sa offensive rebounds.”
In the Philippine Cup, Blackwater ranked as the second-worst rebounding team with a 44.8 boards per game average, just ahead of KIA’s woeful average of 43.9.
Blackwater will take a break on December 31 and New Year’s Day, before returning to practice on January 2 onwards.