Early start for Siot Tanquingcen as Barako Bull evaluates players, PBA rookie draft pool
Barako Bull coach Siot Tanquingcen has an opportunity to upgrade his lineup with three first-round picks in the PBA's rookie draft on August 24. Jerome Ascano

BARAKO Bull coach Siot Tanquingcen is getting a good headstart as he looks for ways to improve his lineup.

After Barako ended up in eighth place in the PBA Governors Cup in his first conference as coach, Tanquingcen said the coaching staff is now working hand and hand with management evaluating players and incoming rookies who could help the Energy improve in the long term.

"Obviously, there's a lot of holes to be plugged, pero ine-evaluate pa namin lahat ng players, especially may mga players din na expiring ang kontrata and then, also taking a look at some of the rookies available," Tanquingcen told Spin.ph on Monday night.

Tanquingcen spoke just moments after Barako Bull fell short in its fourth-quarter rally against the visiting Athletes in Action, 113-105 at the Gatorade Hoops Center.

Tanquingcen believes the Energy have a lot to hope for in the pro league’s 40th season since the core of two-time MVP Willie Miller, JC Intal, Willy Wilson, Mark Isip and incoming sophomores Dave Marcelo, Jeric Fortuna, and Carlo Lastimosa will be back.

Barako Bull also has an opportunity to upgrade its lineup as it owns three first-round picks in coming Annual Rookie Draft at the Robinsons Place Ermita, the highest at No. 3.

But the 41-year-old Tanquingcen is keeping the team’s cards close to his chest.

“Pati nga yung draft list di pa final, everything is up in the air kasi outside the list (of applicants), di pa natin alam sino pa ang papasok,” said Tanquingcen, whose team also owns the eighth and 10th pick in the first round.

At the moment, the Energy are slowly working on getting back into game shape through their thrice-a-week skills and conditioning at the Hoops Center.

“Ang ginagawa namin sa ngayon is slowly having an informal workout and skills work to get their condition back slowly but surely,” he said. “Siyempre, tanggalin `yung konting taba at kalawang dahil long break.”

Barako Bull has placed no higher than fourth place over the league's last 10 conferences.

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