ADDING youthful players like Irven Palencia, Jun Jun Hallare and Darwin Lunor might be the final pieces of the puzzle for the rebuilding Basilan Steel, who are gearing up for the opening game of the new season of the MPBL on June 12.
The three players, who are standouts from three-peat champion St. Clare College in the NAASCU tournament, also played for St. Clare-Virtual Reality team in the PBA D-League.
By adding these three new players, it looks like the Steels, who gets supported by Jumbo Plastic, are determined to come up with a more decent finish. They are also excited for the coming season opener against expansion team Bicol Volcanoes.
“Right now, sir we want to see the jelling of the team by getting more tuneups. Several new players have come along and we want to reach our full potential. Definitely, we will be ready on opening night,” wrote head coach Jerson Cabiltes.
For assistant general manager Jax Chua, playing on opening day is a perfect way to promote Basilan as the team wants to serve ambassadors of the previous war-torn province.
“This is a big promotion for us,” wrote Chua, who added that St. Clare coach Jinino Manansala has also been added to the coaching staff.
Basilan is one of the busiest teams in the offseason, picking up players like ex-pros Jonathan Uyloan and Tonton Bringas, former Quezon City Capitals standouts Jay Collado and Hesed Gabo, Bobby Balucanag, Jett Vidal and Shaq Alanes from Pasay, and Michole Sorela from Navotas, and Allyn Bulanadi from San Sebastian, among others.