PLAYER acquisition, one of the most exciting moments in the MPBL, is over.
Britt Reroma, coach of the Zamboanga-Family’s Brand Sardines, is now bracing for the next important challenge and that is to get his star-studded squad all on the same page of reaching the playoffs — and hopefully, win the championship.
“What we really appreciate on this team, especially the core group, they’re very selfless,” Reroma told FOX Sports Philippines in an exclusive interview. “Lahat sila naging selfless. You see how happy we are, when somebody stepped in. We usually have that next man up mentality. They accept their roles, they’re supporting each other. They’re carrying each other. It’s really a family atmosphere.”
The Universal Canning Inc.-owned franchise went under massive build up as soon as the trading period started, picking up marquee players such as Alvin Pasaol, Anton Asistio and Leonard Santillan from Bataan, Denice Villamor from Batangas City, Hans Thiele and Jun Bonsubre from Bulacan and Aaron Black from Quezon City among others.
“It’s really a good problem,” added Reroma. “At least alam na namin na marami kaming pupuntahan, marami kaming puwedeng hugutin. But day by day, these guys are really amazing because we really appreciate their effort. Day in, day out in practice, they really worked hard — offensively, defensively.”
Black, and holdovers Robin Roño and veteran Raphy Reyes, who are one way or the other are going to compete for minutes in the team, don’t see it as a competition against one another.
“I want to come in to help my teammates and be a facilitator. Coach talked to me and wanted me to be an attack guard, to draw the defense and look for open teammates,” said Black. “I want to stay aggressive and I don’t want to lose that aggressiveness.”
“But I want to play within the system and we have a good system in place. I have good teammates, who are really willing to share the ball. I’m confident with my teammates and we have a good team. At the same time, we have something to prove. We still have a lot to work on, but we can be better.”
Roño and Reyes had gladly make room for their new teammates, never mind if that would mean a slice down from their playing time.
“Sa amin, hindi kami nakikipag-compete, basta kami, kung sino yung ipasok, ready lahat,” added Roño. “Mas marami kaming bala, compared nung last season. Ngayon, kahit sinong ipasok, gumagawa. Walang competition, kasi ang goal namin every game is manalo.”
Reyes, a former PBA player, admitted that although he’s just joined the team this season, his teammates will look for his leadership.
“Ang isip lang nila, win. May malas na isa, may magi-step up,” said Reyes, who played for Alaska and Blackwater a few years ago. “One pag lang bawat player. Yung playing time, andyan lang yan. If you’re playing good, maglalaro ka. If you play bad, upo ka.”
“Gusto ko ring magpakita kasi magagaling talaga mga teammates ko, pero for now, parang Kuya nila ako so ako yung magga-guide sa kanila. Tinuturuan ko sila ng ways para maging involvolved yung iba, yung lahat pwedeng tumira. Yun ang role ko, kahit konti lang minutes ko, basta quality minutes.”