BLACKWATER Sports team owner Dioceldo Sy has bared plans to tap retired PBA stars Marlou Aquino and Kenneth Duremdes as he tries to form a competitive nucleus in the team's first season in the pro league.
The 6-9 Aquino, 41, played 15 seasons in the league until 2011 while Duremdes is the 1998 MVP who last payed in 2008, but Sy said the two can serve as the 'elder statesmen' in what he anticipates would be a young Blackwater team next season.
Sy said he has already started talks with Danny Espiritu, the agent of the two players who are still active in minor leagues and legends games.
“Nag-usap na kami ng agent nila na si Danny Espiritu, sabi ko willing akong palaruin ulit 'yung dalawa,” said Sy, a few days after he received confirmation of his PBA application.
“Syempre, mga bata ang players na dadalhin ko. Kailangan nila ng guide. And I think, fit to that requirement yung dalawa,” added the Ever Bilena cosmetics president.
Aquino and Duremdes have 28 years of PBA experience between them.
Contacted for comment, Aquino said he is willing to come out of retirement, adding he feels he still has what it takes to be competitive in the pro league.
“Basta’t kailangan nila ko, ready ako. Siguro naman, hindi tayo mapapag-iwanan ng mga bata ngayon, kundisyon lang ang hahabulin,” said Aquino, who spent his best years with Ginebra and Sta. Lucia.
“Hindi rin naman tayo masyadong nabakante kasi lagi naman tayong naglalaro sa ilang mga liga,” added 'The Skyscraper,' who last played in the league with the Meralco Bolts in 2011.
Duremdes' situation, though, is a little more complicated since he has accepted the head-coaching job at alma mater Adamson in the UAAP offseason.
But he, too, is interested in the unique Sy proposition.
“It feels good that boss Dioceldo recognizes us, kahit matagal na tayong hindi naglalaro. Nakakataba ng puso,” said Duremdes, now 40 years old.
“Pwede kaya yan, kasi coach ako sa UAAP?”
If the plan pushes through, Duremdes said he will immediately seek clarification regarding the matter from the UAAP board on whether he can coach in the college league and play in the PBA at the same time.
“First time ever. Isolated case ito na coach ng UAAP tapos lalaro sa PBA (laughed)," 'Captain Marbel' said. "Pero I will talk to the Adamson board and the UAAP about this. Gusto kong lumaro pa.”