Blackwater mulling personnel changes after dismal PH Cup
MANILA, Philippines – Following a winless first conference in the PBA, expansion team Blackwater Elite is evaluating its roster and is considering changes in personnel ahead of the upcoming Commissioner’s Cup.
Blackwater Elite coach Leo Isaac admitted he is utterly disappointed with how his team performed throughout the 2015 PBA Philippine Cup, and there are decisions the coaching staff and management must make in order to turn things around.
“Expectation wise, this one we have to be very honest, we did not expect this kind of a performance,” Isaac said after losing their 11th and final game in blowout fashion. “We had high expectations with the players but unfortunately, it did not push through. We have to evaluate things and make decisions with regard to the second conference.”
More was expected from the former PBA D-League champions who believed they formed a competent team through the expansion and rookie drafts. They weren’t expected to make the playoffs but most saw them beating fellow newcomers KIA, upsetting a team or two, and giving the bigger teams a scare here and there.
But that didn’t happen.
“I think right now we have 20 players on our roster. Some of them are injured, some of them are on the reserve list. Just maybe we have to sit down and make some adjustments with regards to personnel,” Isaac explained when asked about the specific decisions the team must make.
He is set to finalize his assessment of the players and take that to management.
“I have my own assessment but I have to confer with management first for the final assessment (of players),” he said.
Isaac previously called out his players earlier in the conference, saying they should play to win and not just for the sake of it. And the players, who were comprised mostly of unsigned free agents and "unprotected players" from other teams acquired in the dispersal draft, must prove why they deserve a second chance in the league.
“It’s a lot deeper than what you guys are thinking and we just can’t relay it directly to you,” Isaac said, admitting there are some issues within the team when asked if chemistry was difficult to establish.
“But there’s a lot of things that needs to be addressed with regard to being competitive come the second conference.”
For the Commissioner’s Cup, Blackwater says they are tapping 7-foot-1 two-time ASEAN Basketball League Best Import Chris Charles for reinforcement.
He is arriving on Friday, December 12 and after a quick 3-day break, Blackwater will resume practice on Saturday, December 13 to prepare early for the mid-season conference.
Isaac is anxious to begin work again and put the dismal Philippine Cup behind them, a conference which did little to spur optimism for the rest of the season.
“Actually, we didn’t see any positive thing this conference. We want to inject some positive things but you can only get some positive things if you get a win against any PBA team,” he said.
“We want to win,” Isaac shared Blackwater’s singular goal. “We just have to get a win come second conference and from there, maybe we can aspire for more.”
Blackwater, it seems, is just glad the horrible nightmare of their first Philippine Cup is finally over. And they can begin looking ahead to a new conference, where they have a clean slate and a new lease on life.
“We’re really starting from scratch. This is reality. We just have to move on and completely forget about this conference and just focus on the coming second and third conferences. We won’t blame anybody. We won’t point fingers at any individual for this conference. We just have to stay together and try to improve.” – Rappler.com