MANILA, Philippines – Barako Bull will start a new beginning when it clashes against Meralco in the season opener of the PBA Governors’ Cup on Sunday.
The Energy Cola team is looking to rebound from a ninth-place finish in the Commissioner’s Cup, with a new coach in tow.
"Tomorrow (Sunday) is a new beginning and a new challenge, both for the team and myself," said Siot Tanquingcen in the PBA website. The former Ginebra coach took over Bong Ramos' post after serving as the team consultant for a while.
Barako Bull will be parading import Eric Wise, son of former PBA reinforcement Francois Wise, as their import for the season ending tourney. They will be playing minus injured players Dorian Pena and Rob Labagala.
Tanquingcen hopes the activation of their reserve Hans Thiele and the entry of Wise will offset the absence of Pena and Labagala.
"Otherwise, everyone’s relatively healthy naman," said Tanquingcen. "Yung sa import tingnan natin. Alam naman nating sa actual game lang ma-te-test talaga."
Barako will also lean on its core group composed on JC Intal, Willie Miller, Mick Pennisi, Denok Miranda and Ronjay Buenafe.
Meralco, for its part, will be fielding former NBA player Terrence Williams, a known scorer who can inflict damage inside and outside the paint.
"T-Will is adjusting well and we are looking forward to play our first game," said Meralco coach Ryan Gregorio.
Gregorio said they could not afford to underestimate the Energy Cola, despite the latter’s dismal finish in the recently-concluded Commissioner’s Cup.
"Barako is always a dangerous foe. They have players who can play at a high level and we must get the job done on defense."