THE BARAKO BULL ENERGY 2011-12 PREVIEW


Kulang na lang horns kamukha na niya yung logo nila.


FIVE CONFERENCES AGO:

2009-10 PHILIPPINE CUP – WILDCARD
2010 FIESTA CUP – WILDCARD
2010-11 PHILIPPINE CUP – WILDCARD
2011 COMMISSIONER’S CUP – SEMIFINALS
2011 GOVERNOR’S CUP – ELIMINATED


The Ube Republic has been dismissed and now they are cloning themselves with the former Red Bull franchise. The Barako Bull Energy (minus the awful Boosters tag because Petron beat them to it) looks like a powerful team. They have a bunch of 2000’s stars and they are thinking bullish with their roster.

This season will be a serious road test for Junel Baculi. Baculi is a big-time coach in the PBL, MBA, and the other pro hoop circuits in and out of the country but he hasn’t been successful in the PBA. His first and only coaching stint in the league was the last conference of the “old” Barako Bull and placing last is a problem considering the talent that’s in his roster right now.

The team will be led by 2-time MVP Willie Miller and many-time MVP runner-up Danny Seigle. Miller’s Ginebra experience was career-defining because it looks as if he is on the verge of retirement and The Thriller wants nothing to do with that fact. He wants to do things a la Seigle that just when you think he is down and out, the Dynamite explodes awesomely.

Also in the mix to carry the load are Air21 holdovers Wynne Arboleda, Paul Artadi, Dorian Pena, Jondan Salvador, Leo Avenido, Leo Najorda, and Leo Gatumbato. Arboleda and Artadi will carry the bulk of the orchestration load not unless Miller gets a crack on the PG position. Salvador and Pena will give brawn in the big man position while Avenido and Najorda are expected to give the Energy quality plays.


Foul play for both players.


Barako Bull signed four rookies although the only players worth mentioning are D-League MVP Allein Maliksi and Smart-Gilas mainstay Dylan Ababou. While Ababou is warming the bench of the Nationals, Maliksi has been on a tear and this is why Maliksi was picked ahead of Super Ababou. The Bulls are lucky to find Ken Acibar late in the second round to give them size but I doubt if he and Paul Sorongan will see major minutes.

The loss of Dondon Hontiveros and the 2011 PBA Draft third overall pick proves depressing but the entry of Sunday Salvacion, Mick Pennisi, and Don Allado to the fold will make things interesting for the squad.    

OUTLOOK: The team in paper is very, VERY strong. At least five of these players garnered Mythical selection citations and most of the vets have a bunch of championship rings stacked in their drawers. However shining brightly will be the biggest test for the Energy. Playing as the FedEx/Air21 Express, the team had only one trip to the finals. With all the title rings their players have, let’s see if Barako Bull has the “Energy” to catapult their selves to the top.  

PHILIPPINE CUP RANK: FIFTH   

Game over.

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