Thursday, 1 September 2011

Powerade sees its future bright

Posted by chardyboy on Thursday, September 01, 2011 0 comments


MANILA, Philippines — Toughened by their vast experience playing in various international events and in the PBA, Powerade coach Bo Perasol expects his two rookies – JV Casio and Marcio Lassiter – to make an instant impact on the team in the 37th Season of the Philippine Basketball Association.
The arrival of Casio, the No. 1 overall pick in the PBA Rookie Draft last Sunday, and Lassiter, who was taken fourth overall, will definitely improve the point guard and small forward positions of Powerade, and together with shooting guard Gary David, they form a deadly 1-2-3 combo.
“We’re hoping to build with them,” said Perasol, whose team missed the playoffs the past eight conferences. “We’re not really expecting to start from scratch, because both Casio and Lassiter have the experience.”
“The most important aspect is that the point guard and wing positions are now solid. I think that we have taken two of the most talented draftees. With their experience, they should be able to contribute to the team,” added Perasol.
The 5-foot-10 Casio, a playmaker with a soft touch from the perimeter, and the 6-foot-3 Lassiter, an excellent defender and strong finisher, are expected to start for the Tigers, whose concern now is adding a center after letting go of Rob Reyes who is now a free agent.
Rain or Shine’s own pick, the 6-foot Paul Lee from University of the East who was drafted No. 2 overall, is also expected to contribute right away for the Elasto Painters, and no less than head coach Yeng Guiao expressed optimism with his abilities.
“He’s one of the few, I think, whose game can have an impact even as a rookie. His game is matured,” said Guiao. “He will not encounter a lot of difficulty making the adjustment in the PBA game. Lee could be the last piece in the puzzle on our team.”
“At first he will come off the bench. But I don’t think he will stay long on the bench, we need him inside the court, so he will get his share of minutes even as a rookie,” Guiao added.
Comfortable playing the two guard spots, Lee, who also played for Cobra Energy Drink in the PBL and D-League, will share playing minutes with the likes of TY Tang, Ronjay Buenafe, Ryan Arana and Jireh Ibanes.
Chris Lutz, who like Casio and Lassiter will still play for Smart-Gilas Pilipinas in the FIBA-Asia Championship on Sept. 15 in Wuhan, China, was tabbed No. 3 overall by Petron Blaze, obtained in a trade with Barako Bull (formerly Air21).
At 6-foot-3, Lutz plays the same position as Arwind Santos, and coach Ato Agustin feels fortunate to have another player with the same quality as the former Marshall University can rebound, defend the other team’s top scorer and a threat on offense.
“We are happy to have him since Chris is a very good defender and scorer,” said Petron coach Ato Agustin, whose team also got Dondon Hontiveros and Carlo Sharma in the same trade with Barako in exchange for Mic Pennisi, Sunday Salvacion and Petron’s No. 8 pick in the Draft.
New team Shopinas (formerly Barako Bull) selected Mark Barroca also from Smart-Gilas, a point guard who will be the team’s main man running the plays under coach Franz Pumaren, who is still completing his roster.
“At least we got a point guard that can dominate. Hopefully that will start our foundation,” said Pumaren.
Three more Smart-Gilas Pilipinas players were also taken in the first round, with forward Mac Baracael going to Alaska with the sixth overall pick, center Jason Ballesteros joining Meralco as the seventh pick, while Dylan Ababou was tabbed No. 10 by Barako Bull.
With no real threat at the power forward spot, the Aces will try Baracael, who will have his chance to showcase his talent under coach Tim Cone, while Meralco mentor Ryan Gregorio took Ballesteros as a potential starting center with Asi Taulava now in the final years of his career.
Ababou will join a Barako Bull team that is loaded with small forwards that include fellow rookie and UST alumni Allein Maliksi, the first D-League MVP who was taken No. 8 overall, Leomar Najorda, Elmer Espiritu, Salvacion and probably Danny Seigle.
FEU’s Reil Cervantes, a 6-foot-6 forward/center selected ninth overall by Barangay Ginebra, will add ceiling to the often-injured frontline of the Kings, as coach Siot Tanquincen will have him come off the bench behind Eric Menk, Yancy de Ocampo and Rico Villanueva.


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