Former FEU stalwarts give Blackwater hope in PBA campaign
Mac Belo, Mike Tolomia, Richard Escoto and Ronn Dennison
File photos

Former FEU stalwarts give Blackwater hope in PBA campaign

Charlie Flores ( - August 4, 2020 - 8:02pm

MANILA, Philippines – Blackwater owner Dioceldo Sy expressed confidence on the team’s roster as it bolsters the “nucleus” of Far Eastern University from 2015 that won the UAAP men’s basketball title.

Already with Mac Belo, the team has added Mike Tolomia late last year, tabbed center Richard Escoto — the 14th overall pick in last year’s the PBA Rookie Draft — and obtained guard Ron Dennison early this year in a trade with Phoenix Super LPG Fuel Masters.

All four were with the FEU squad that downed University of Santo Tomas in a grueling best-of-three finals series under Nash Racela — now the head coach of Blackwater.

Two other former FEU players are members of the PBA franchise — third-year forward Carl Bryan Cruz and rookie Hubert Cani, a reserve on the team after he was selected in the fourth round.

“Mukhang ngayon tayo makaka-tsamba ng semifinals or finals,” said Sy over the weekend on The Chasedown on Cignal TV’s One PH channel. “We have the nucleus of FEU champion team.”

Racela said he appreciates Sy’s position and confidence on the team, although he cautioned that it takes more than just having his former FEU players to contend in the PBA.

“It's nice that boss Diceldo Sy has a positive outlook for the team having us on board,” Racela told Tuesday. “The challenge is for us to match realities with expectations.”

“Nothing gets better just by changing (the lineup). It's only the first step in a long process of getting better,” he added.

The league is still on a break since PBA commissioner Willie Marcial issued the cancelation of games and practice sessions following the government’s lockdown due to coronavirus pandemic.

Teams are expected to resume training this month after the government’s approval on professional leagues.

Once the PBA resumes practice session on teams, Racela said they would continue on improving team chemistry.

“It will depend on how we collaborate and work together as a group, and that includes management and each individual in our team. I personally hope patience will be an ally in this process of getting better,” he said.

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