SOL Mercado believes Barangay Ginebra will emerge an even better team in the PBA Commissioner's Cup after its failed finals run in the season-opening all-Filipino conference.
Mercado said the experience alone of competing against three-time reigning Philippine Cup champion San Miguel is bound to toughen the Kings in their campaign in the mid-season tournament that gets underway on March 17.
The Kings fell to the Beermen in five games in the best-of-seven series.
"We take the good and try to move forward. We'll take the good from what we did and learn from that," said the stocky guard.
The Kings have been given a well-deserved rest by team management and won't return to practice until next week.
The 32 of -year-old Mercado is taking advantage of the respite to have a short vacation in Singapore with teammate Joe Devance.
But the product of Biola College can't wait to get back on the court for the second conference and try to finish what the Kings failed to accomplish in the season-opening meet.
"Hopefully we'll have a quick turnaround this conference and become a better team," said Mercado, who won his first league title with Ginebra in last year's Governors Cup.
"We'll try to become a better team and move forward."
Although not yet certain about Greg Slaughter's return from injury, Mercado is definitely looking forward to having the 6-11 slotman back in the team's active roster.
A healthy Slaughter, who's now undergong rehabilitation following his ACL operation, would have given the Kings a better chance against the powerhouse San Miguel unit, according to Mercado.
"Yeah I can't wait to have Greg back," he said. "I think the third conference is his target. But definitely, the series (all-Filipino) could have been totally different with him around."
But win or lose, Mercado said he will always be proud to go to war with the never-say-die team.
"I'm proud of all these guys. All of these 15 I'll go to war with any day of the week," said Mercado.