BARAKO Bull hopes the entry of new coach Siot Tanquingcen could jumpstart the team’s slow but sure return to respectability as the Energy kick off their PBA Governors Cup campaign Sunday against the Meralco Bolts at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Game time is set at 3 p.m.
Tanquingcen is coming off a one-conference stint as Barako Bull consultant before being appointed as head coach in lieu of Bong Ramos for the season-ending conference.
With three PBA titles tucked under his belt, Tanquingcen tries to bring his winning mindset to a Barako Bull side that finished no higher than sixth place in the last six conferences.
“Ang emphasis is trying to get better muna in doing things that we need to improve on which is rebounding, defense, and understand that this is a process,” Tanquingcen said in tapering off high expectations from his first conference as Barako Bull coach.
The Energy finished dead last in team defense in the recent Commissioner’s Cup after giving up 99.4 points per game.
Barako Bull went on to finish with just two wins in the mid-season conference out of nine games.
The Energy are 2-1 in their tune-up matches so far under Tanquingcen, beating Rain or Shine, 91-83 ,and Globalport, 90-75, before dropping a close 75-78 decision to the Alaska Aces.
With a system focused towards defense and with import Eric Wise adding the inside presence, Meralco coach Ryan Gregorio expects the Energy to remain “dangerous” this conference.
“Barako is always a dangerous foe. They have players who can play at a high level and we must get the job done on defense,” said Gregorio, whose team has enlisted three-point specialist Terrence Williams as import in the season’s final conference.
Williams is expected to fill in the small forward or shooting guard position, something he was able to do well during his only tune-up match last Tuesday against the Aces.
Meralco whipped Alaska, 110-103, in a game marred by a scuffle between Danny Ildefonso and Aces import Bill Walker.
The 6-foot-4 Williams out of Louisville, scattered 37 points and finished with 10 three-point shots in just three quarters in a game that saw the Bolts lead from start to finish.
Williams was picked 11th overall by the New Jersey Nets (now Brooklyn) in the 2009 NBA Draft.
He averaged 7.1 points and owns a 31.7 percent three-point shooting average in four NBA seasons, playing for the Houston Rockets, the Sacramento Kings, and the Boston Celtics.