TOUGH AS STEEL | Basilan hopes to live up to team’s new moniker

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TOUGH as Steel.

That’s the name Basilan will live by as it wants to play just like what their moniker suggests.

From Shooters, Basilan, one of the expansion teams from the South, will now be known as the Steel and this was confirmed by head coach Joseph Romarante to FOX Sports Philippines in an online interview.

“Together, we’re trying to fit into the system to be tough as Steel. That’s our team’s new moniker,” wrote Romarate.

Typifying Basilan’s toughness will be key players Jojo Tangkay, brothers Dennis and Dino Daa, Mark Ababon, John Foronda and Daniel “Tata” Bautista.

Tangkay, who played for Sta. Lucia and Welcoat in the PBA, is undoubtedly the team’s top gun.

More than 10 years removed from the PBA, the 6-foot-1 lefty swingman spent the past few years playing in Cebu in different tournaments.

“Yes he is the focal point of offense, but we are working on something now on which we cannot yet tell,= so that other teams can’t scout us early,” added Romarate.

Romarate admires Tangkay’s work ethic and how the PBA veteran kept himself in tip-top condition through the years.

“Jojo is very disciplined. He’s always on the gym, lifting heavier weights than the younger guys,” wrote Romarate. “He’s very disciplined on his food intake. Jojo is the example for every one on the team when it comes to discipline and hard work.”

But Romarate surrounded Tangkay with players whom he believes can complement him.

The Daa brothers will play both forward spots and supply Tangkay a lot of help.

Of the two, Dennis is the more heralded one, having played for the Sta. Lucia Realtors in the PBA.

Dino was a former player of the Letran Knights.

“Toughness on defense. Dennis will be defending the bigs while Dino will be stopping the perimeter players, most notably the No.3 spot. Aside from that, they bring so much experience to the team. Dennis is also the co-captain of the team together with Tangkay,” added Romarate.

The Steel will also have Ababon, whom Romarate described as “the best point guard in Cebu.”

Ababon, a 5-foot-10 guard, played for Granny Goose in the defunct PBL. A former UV Lancer, he also saw action for the Cebu Niños in Liga Pilipinas and for the M Lhuillier-Kwarta Padala in the Tournament of the Philippines.

Foronda is a 6-foot-6 frontliner who played for the Thailand League along with notable players like Patrick Cabahug and Jeff Viernes among others.

Bautista was a former point guard of the University of Santo Tomas Tigers and was the heir apparent of Jeric Fortuna.

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