STRONG teams are being measured inside the court, not on a piece of paper.
That’s how ex-pro and current Mandaluyong El Tigre center Mac Andaya and Bataan head coach Jojo Lastimosa see their teams in the coming Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League.
“Many say malakas kami sa papel, pero nasa sa amin pa rin on how we win play and win games,” Andaya wrote in a text message to FOX Sports Philippines. “We cannot win games on paper alone.”
Lastimosa, a PBA legend and one of the greatest players ever to play in the pros, agreed with Andaya’s observation.
“Sa papel lang kami malakas, pero sa actual game naman yan masusubukan kung gaano kalakas ang team,” added Lastimosa.
Andaya and Lastimosa’s response answered fans and basketball experts predictions that Mandaluyong and Bataan are two of the top favorites in the coming MPBL season.
According to Lastimosa, collecting star players isn’t a guarantee you’re going to field in a strong team.
“The most challenging part is how you put all these guys play together in a system,” added Lastimosa. “That’s the challenge for us, coaches.”
The El Tigre will be headed by Ray Parks, the highly-touted son of seven-time PBA Best Import Bobby Parks, who will be joined in the line up by ex-pros Andaya, JR Alabanza, Jeff Javillonar and last-minute inclusion, Josan Nimes.
Aside from the ex-pros, other notable players in the El Tigre roster include John Paul Cauilan of National University, Thomas and Axel Torres of La Salle, former Adamson stalwart Janus Lozada, hardworking ex-Quezon City Capital forward Gian Abrigo and celebrity baller Xian Lim.
“I think he’s practicing with Rain or Shine pa rin,” added Andaya. “He played sa tune up games namin. He played sa mga tune up games namin and practices with us. In Mandaluyong, he can showcase his real potential na tulad ng nilalalro niya dati sa Mapua.”
Image from Mark Andaya