Today, January 9, the battle begins. Rain or Shine and Talk N’ Text might have both came off championships from last year but both claim to be hungry for another one. Rain or Shine has tagged itself as the underdog in the series, but analysts believe that the odds are even for both teams.
The PBA 2012-2013 Philippine Cup finals also signal that the conference is about to be over and the next one is looming. Thus, some of you whose favorite teams had been eliminated from competition in this ongoing conference might already be looking forward to the next one – the Commissioner’s Cup. Check out after the jump for more news about your favorite teams.
A few days ago, the news about former Philippine head coach Rajko Toroman taking over the head coaching slot vacated by Junel Baculi was confirmed. And with the a rejuvenated lineup and the arrival of their import Evan Brock, Toroman hopes that he can get the job done and improve the standing of Barako Bulls in the next conference.
The 58-year-old Serbian coach was released by SMC from his contract and has replaced Bong Ramos, the interim head coach for the Barako Bull. Although Ramos will reprise his role as assistant coach for the team, Toroman is also bringing in another coach in Charles Tiu to help him out. However, he is optimistic about this new challenge for him saying, “I’ve spoken with the management [of Barako Bull] about the direction of the team and we share identical objectives.”
He didn’t want to rush things, though. All he aims for right now is improvement. “We want to strengthen our lineup.” Toroman further adds, “we finished ninth in the Philippine Cup and if we’re able to go up to fifth or sixth, it will be an achievement.”
Aside from their import, three new players are coming into the Barako Bull lineup – Eman Monfort, Don Allado, and Marc Agustin. Toroman’s current head coaching contract with Barako Bull is slated to last for two years.
Petron Blaze Boosters
Meanwhile, Toroman’s former team, Petron Blaze Boosters are also gearing up for the PBA 2013 Commissioner’s Cup. They’ve recently acquired the rights to 6’ 8” forward Renaldo Balkman, who is a first round draft pick by New York Knicks on the 2006 NBA Draft. Although the impressive resume by the forward made the Petron coaching staff consider him as the best man for the job, they believe he still has a lot of conditioning to do especially since he had a long hiatus from basketball.
According to Petron head coach Olsen Racela, the import’s versatility is what is going to help out their cause in the next conference. They already have big guys in their lineup in the form of June Mar Fajardo, Jay Washington, and Arwind Santos, so Racela believes he would be the one to fill in the holes in their lineup.
San Mig Coffee Mixers
As most other teams in the PBA are in search of a new import to boost their lineup in preparation of the upcoming competition, the San Mig Coffee Mixers are looking to return to the old formula that helped them succeed. Hence, head coach Tim Cone wants Denzel Bowles back as their import. But the import must first secure a clearance from Zhejiang Golden Bulls, the Chinese Basketball Association team he last played for.
The lack of clarity from Bowles' status is causing a bit of urgency on the team management. However, team officials had indicated that a firm decision could be reached by January 15th. In case Bowles is not cleared by then, San Mig Coffee Mixers have a list of other imports to consider when their original option does not fall through.
Herbert Hill will be suiting up as Barangay Ginebra's import for the upcoming Commissioner's Cup. And from the two practice sessions he has had with the team, he seems to have an understanding of what the coaching staff expects from him and is also fully aware as to what he can offer the team.
Hill, who immediately attended practice soon after arriving from the US, is feeling good about the confidence that the coaching staff and the entire team is giving him. He says, "they've been helping me adjust."
The 6-10 center who is also a second round draft pick in 2007 by the Utah Jazz understands that the team needs help on the inside. Hence, he is hoping that his size and inside prowess can be an asset to the team. Another thing that he looks forward to with the start of the next conference? Being part of the most popular team in the PBA. He adds, "I'm very excited about the opportunity."
Be sure to check us again for more news and updates on your favorite PBA teams!