BLACKWATER unleashes Thursday its newly overhauled lineup, eyeing a result that has eluded the team in its last 19 outings.
Debuting Bossing coach Ariel Vanguardia has eight fresh bodies teaming up with the few remaining holdovers led by KG Canaleta as they try to end a record streak of losses dating back to the 2020 PBA Philippine Cup.
They unveil new PBA import Jaylen Bond as they plunge into action at 6 p.m. against a Rain or Shine side which, for its part, is banking on veteran PBA reinforcement Henry Walker.
Walker has had multiple tours of duty in the local pro league, including two editions of Governors' Cup with Blackwater.
Both teams brim with excitement and enthusiasm entering the 2021 Governors' Cup - the first import-flavored PBA tourney in two years .
For one, Blackwater is practically a new team with a new coach and new blood in Jvee Casio, Barkley Ebona, Will McAloney, Rashawn McCarthy, Jay Washington, Jhong Baloria, Val Chauca and Mike Ayonayon.
"We want to improve one percent every day and before long, we'll get to where we want to be. Our objective is to win every quarter," said Vanguardia.
"We hope to win four or five games in the elims to be able to sneak into the playoffs. More than anything, we want to be an exciting team that's fun to watch," Vanguardia added.
With the help of strength and conditioning coaches, Vanguardia sees his team in great condition.
Meanwhile, Rain or Shine is confident Walker will provide the missing piece that will make the squad a mean machine on both ends.
Coach Chris Gavina noted that while the defense-oriented Elasto Painters ranked first in points allowed (80 markers) and field goal percentage allowed (38 percent) in the last Philippine Cup, they were the lowest in scoring (77 points per game).
And the 6-foot-5 Walker, who averaged 25.27 points plus 13.27 rebounds and 5.82 assists in his last PBA stint with Blackwater in 2018, can very well address this concern.
"Henry Walker is a well-proven dynamic player, a great leader who has the ability to elevate the players around him so we're looking forward to him filling this gap that we need on the offensive end," Gavina said.
Rain or Shine made a little tweak in its lineup by acquiring Trevis Jackson while giving up Franky Johnson.
James Yap will be out as he's allowed by the management to concentrate on his bid to win a council seat in San Juan. (SB)