THE desire to beef up its defense prompted Phoenix Pulse to make three trades during the offseason that brought in Jake Pascual, Brian Heruela, and Sol Mercado.
Phoenix coach Louie Alas said the Fuel Masters obtained three players who will definitely be a big help on the defensive end.
Pascual was obtained from Alaska last December in exchange for a draft pick while Heruela was acquired in a trade with Blackwater for Ron Dennison.
On Monday, the PBA approved another deal that sent Mercado to the Fuel Masters for LA Revilla and Rey Guevarra.
Alas said Heruela will be an integral in Phoenix’s fullcourt defense schemes.
“Integral part siya ng defensive schemes namin especially ‘yung full-court defense namin,” Alas said following the team’s practice on Monday.
“Nakita niyo naman kung ano ginawa niya sa Talk ‘N Text. Malaki ang magiging role niya especially on the defensive end.”
Pascual, meanwhile, will be taking over the role left by Doug Kramer, who retired at the end of last season.
Alas said Phoenix Pulse has been in dire need of a rebounding presence with Calvin Abueva still suspended.
“Siya ‘yung replacement ni Doug kasi nag-retire na nga siya. Though medium-sized big man pa rin, but every rebound that he will be going to get, malaking bagay sa amin.
"‘Yun ang naging waterloo namin nung last two conference without Calvin. Parang nag-dip ng 20 percent ‘yung rebounding strength namin,” said Alas.
“Siguro ‘yung mga five to seven rebounds ni Jake, that will be a big help,” said Alas.
It will be no different with Mercado, who has distinguished himself as a defensive lynchpin in his many years in the pro league.
“Si Sol malaki ang maitutulong niya,” said Alas.