After the trimming and building of each PBA teams making the most out of the PBA off-season in trying to showcase a strong line up, we are left clueless of the way this upcoming season is going to be.
As each team wanting to get their line ups filled with new faces considering the size and talent after different star player switches and key player trades, it is going to be an anticipated All Filipino Cup again. After the 41st season’s governors’ cup, every one woke up in a surpise after hearing about a report that involves Star Hotshots’ Star player and the former MVP Paul Lee of the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters. This might be considered as the biggest blockbuster trade in this generation as Star Hotshots acquired the rights to Paul Lee and RoS to James Yap.
This was just one of those trades that happened, after a successful campaign in the Governors’ Cup, the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel the previous conference’s champion traded their back ups such as Nico Salva, Dennice Villamor and Franklin Bonifacio. Just when everyone’s expecting for an intact core for this ballclub after a championship they eventually released some of their players due to an overcrowded roster after drafting 3 more bigmen in the latest PBA Rookie Draft. Ginebra picked Kevin Ferrer a University of Sto. Tomas cager and a gilas cadet. They also acquired the rights to sign Jam Jamito of St. Claire college and their former practice player Jericho De Guzman.
San Miguel Beermen also acquired another bigman Van Opstal as a backup of Junmar Fajardo who has a potential to be a threat inside the paint. The beermen then released Gary David from their roster after having some difficulties meeting it’s salary cap and also because of multiple players with the same position as David.
There are lots of trades that involved guards and centers and it’s too many to mention but is this season going to be a battle of fronliners? or a backcourt competition?
Based on what each teams are trying to achieve, San Miguel Beermen’s Junmar Fajardo has been the benchmark. Trying to match up this former MVP is the goal of every team in this conference as they will not have any reinforcement until the 2nd and 3rd conference. Play making is one of the key factors to consider too but the focal point of this new season is building a strong frontline roster for each team to be able to overcome and surpass what Fajardo is producing. With the addition Arnold Van Opstal in the Beermen’s frontcourt, it will be hard for any teams to battle inside the paint.
Well for me? It’s going to be a battle of the goliaths. Having a very skill and size filled rookie class, it will certainly be a matter of who will dominate the paint than who can make plays in the back court.
1. MORE PLAYING TIME for the YOUNG GUNS
a. Scottie Thompson – The very promising rookie out of the Perpetual Help Atlas had make an impression last conference. He is an all around player and is a very energetic player. He could be the new spark off the bench for Ginebra. Scottie will fill the statsheet every game if given a chance. Based on P.E.R., Thompson is a very efficient player.
b. Nico Salva – Salva had a great collegiate career from Ateneo and we know what he can do inside the court if given a chance. CTC can develop this guy into something special. He can provide some shooting and scoring for the team. He could be the today’s Sunday Salvacion or Mark Macapagal for Ginebra.
2. ACQUIRE a DEADLY SHOOTER and WING DEFENDER
This is what I think the missing piece in Barangay Ginebra’s title quest. Chris Ellis hasn’t shown improvement on his offensive game. And I think its time for them to part with him. They can trade him for the likes of Rey Guevarra, Anthony Semerad or Ronald Pascual plus future picks.
3. CONSISTENCY for JAPETH AGUILAR
Greg Slaughter is the only consistent contributor in Barangay Ginebra bigs and Japeth Aguilar should be the other one. If he will only be consistent together with Slaughter, they will be a force to reckon with every night. Japeth needs to do something with his game or else he would end up playing for another team.
4. SOL MERCADO should be the “SIXTH MAN”
Sol Mercado is a combo guard so he can be the reliever of either L.A. Tenorio or Mark Caguioa. I see him as a great team leader that could guide this team to the championship. You can see the “Never Say Die” spirit on him. If he can average atleast 13 points and 5 assists a game off the bench, Ginebra will be back to the Finals.
5. JOE DEVANCE and JERVY CRUZ should be the “TWIN TOWER’S RELIEVER”
Joe Devance and Jervy Cruz need to provide some scoring off the bench. They should be the reliever of Japeth Aguilar and Greg Slaughter. If this two will be consistent and will contribute every game together with Slaughter and Aguilar, Ginebra would be unstoppable.