Barako Bull has a lot of “senior citizens” during the PBA Philippine Cup. But when the five-team, 10-player trade was finally consummated and approved by commissioner Chito Salud on Tuesday, the Energy Cola suddenly got younger and more athletic.
Adding Jonas Villanueva, JC Intal, Allein Maliksi and guard Jojo Duncil injected the much needed youthful vigor and veteran spunk to a Barako Bull squad that stumbled to a 4-10 record in the recent season-opening All-Filipino conference.
Rajko Toroman, the team’s incoming coach, couldn’t hide his elation with the fact that Barako Bull suddenly got the needed boost on its roster.
However, the Serb mentor said talent alone won’t guarantee victories in the games nor championships in the future. Instead, they need to start working on adapting to his system and hopefully, be able to execute well come the Commissioner’s Cup.
With Villanueva manning the playmaking chores along with Josh Urbiztondo (his former teammate at San Mig), the Energy Cola now have the speed to match up with opposing team’s backcourt.
Throw in the athleticism Intal and Maliksi can bring into the team and for sure, the Energy Cola will start running more frequently if there’s a chance to go on open-court.
Now, the challenge is up to Toroman to turn this talented roster into a winning team capable of challenging powerhouses like defending champion San Mig Coffee, Rain or Shine, Barangay Ginebra, Alaska and even Petron in the coming Commissioner’s Cup.