AFTER two tumultuous seasons filled with letdowns and off-court drama that have come to be known as 'Petronovela' among the team's frustrated fans, Petron players are confident things are bound to get better for one of the PBA's most successful ballclubs.
Ronald Tubid, for one, hopes he would never hear the word again.
“Sana matapos na ang Petronovela at sana hindi na marinig 'yung salita na 'yun," said the high-energy guard, who has grown so tired of the word after spending just months with the Blaze Boosters. "'Yun ang challenge sa aming lahat ngayon."
Speaking just days after the team announced that San Miguel Corp. consultant for basketball operations Noli Eala has been moved to another position in the company, Tubid said the team is working together in its pursuit of a semblance of unity and stability under new coach Gee Abanilla.
“Madami kasing changes na naganap sa team, so as much as possible ginagawa naming maging united at one goal talagang gusto naming makuha yung korona. Tulong-tulong," said the veteran guard.
“Kung ano pwede i-sacrifice, willing kami magbigay para sa team at fans,” added the Oton, Iloilo native. "Ginagawan namin ng paraan na maging worth it at mapatunayan namin na ang binuong team, competitive at 'yung expectations maabot namin kahit one step at a time.
“May mga roles kami sa team ngayon. Maganda na rin yung nangyayari. Sacrifice talaga bawat isa … kailangang one page kami palagi,” said Tubid.
Team captain Alex Cabagnot believes the team is now headed in a different direction.
“It’s good. It’s a work in progress … sana we catch up to what Coach Gee wants and his expectations,” said Cabagnot, who unlike Tubid, thinks 'Petronovela' never really existed.
“Wala namang Petronovela. Wala na 'yun. I never even paid attention to it. Coach Gee is here now. We’re supporting him 100 percent. We’ll just move forward and surpass our goals and meet our expectations,” he said.
On the other hand, veteran big man Dorian Pena insisted all the trials and failures the Boosters had gone through in the past will only make them stronger.
“No such thing as Petronovela. Every team has problems. It only makes us stronger. We’ll see what happens after that. We should be back in the finals, it’s long overdue. This conference, hopefully we do that,” Pena said.
“We’re looking at our team in the past … It’s very talented. I don’t think we performed as well we should, but this conference there is no excuse. We should be in the finals and we should be a champion.”