BARAKO Bull coach Bong Ramos hopes the team’s quarterfinal misfortune in the PLDT myDSL-PBA Philippine Cup could serve as an eye-opener for the Energy to improve on the `little things’ as they try to regroup for the coming Commissioner’s Cup.
Ramos specifically mentioned free throw shooting as the key area which the Energy have to work on following their two-game sweep at the hands of Petron in their best-of-three series Friday night.
They Said It!
“Wala akong masasabi dito sa mga players ko. They pushed themselves kaya nakapasok kami sa quarters." - Barako Bulls coach Bong Ramos
The team had an atrocious 20-of-40 shooting from the foul line for a 50 percent clip in Game Two that proved to be its downfall in a 100-107 loss to the Boosters.
“Wala akong masasabi dito sa mga players ko. They pushed themselves kaya nakapasok kami sa quarters,” said Ramos.
“Sayang lang nga, we tried to win (Game Two) pero wala, 50 percent lang ang free throws namin. Kung na-shoot lang namin kahit siyam na free throws dun.”
But on the positive side, Ramos feels Barako Bull’s campaign in the All-Filipino conference has forged the needed chemistry the team needs to become a well-oiled machine for the season’s next two conferences.
“Actually sa akin, nag-start kami after the drafting na nung November. And when we started (practice), 28 players pa nga yan, then na-trim namin to 16 na ginagamit ko pang ikot this conference para kung may ma-injured,” he added.
Although the Energy have several ageing players in their roster led by two-time league Most Valuable Player Willie Miller (36), center Dorian Pena (36), and Mick Pennisi, who turns 39 this March, Ramos feels the three are still capable of contributing for the franchise’s title bid this season.
“Si Willie lang ang nag-i-isang MVP sa team ko na kahit nagkaka-edad na eh meron pa ring napipigang konti,” said the Barako Bull mentor, himself a mean player during his heydays.
“Tapos si Dorian pinupuntahan na rin namin sa opensa na dati eh role player lang sa Petron, nag-re-rebound, saka pang-depensa lang. But I think I’m successful kay Dorian.
“And then, si Mick beterano na rin yan , nag-pi-finish ng laro iyan,” he added.
Barako Bull, which entered the Philippine Cup playoffs seeded as the No. 6 team, is still in search for an import who could help the team’s drive for yet another respectable finish in the second conference set to kick off on March 7.
The top eight finishers in the All-Filipino are allowed to tap a 6-foot-9 import, while the ninth and 10th placers will be reinforced by 6-foot-11 imports.