Blackwater Elite to revamp PBA team

After a disappointing campaign in its first season in the PBA as an expansion franchise, Blackwater owner Dioceldo Sy has ordered a revamp of the team to make it more competitive when the Elite return to action in the 41st Season of the professional league.

Blackwater team manager Jonson Martines said yesterday that Sy was very disappointed with the team’s performance, especially after the Elite failed again to make the playoffs in the season-ending Governors’ Cup.

“Of course, frustrated. We had a meeting, the management and coaches. Isa lang gusto namin siyempre, we want to improve,” said Martines.

“That’s why right now the order of our Mr. Sy is to beef up the squad… no matter what. If it means to revamp, he said ‘do it’,” added Martines.

Of the 14 players of Blackwater, only six are under contract until next season, namely JP Erram, Reil Cervantes, Chris Timberlake and rookies Jerick Cañada, Frank Golla and Juami Tingson.

The others have expiring contracts this August, but three are assured to be have extended contracts, point guard Brian Heruela, forward Riego Gamalinda and center Jason Ballesteros.

“The coaches have to review, compile all the stats of players, and then we will review if other players need to be extended. Aside from that, the coaches will review naman yung rookies na papasok and kung sino ang pwede namin makuha,” said Martines.

“We’ll also try to negotiate for trades to get draft picks. We’ll try to improve our roster,” added Martines.

With the worst record of 4-29 throughout the season, the Elite were suppose to have the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s PBA Rookie Draft, but that pick was traded to Talk ’N Text for veteran forward Larry Rodriguez, who had a brief stint with the team this season.

Martines said the team, despite being criticized for such move that will benefit the Tropang Texters, has no regrets trading the pick, saying: “Wala naman… this is our first time. Through experience, hindi namin ma-ulit.” (Waylon Galvez)

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Written by Johnny Lugay

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