THE POWERADE TIGERS 2011-12 PREVIEW

Mr. Pure Energy solo act is no more!


FIVE CONFERENCES AGO:

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


Last season, the Powerade Tigers are a mess. The team lacks fangs to contend with the main protagonists of the league and the team is overloaded with shooters and slashers. But these shooters and slashers aren’t as stellar as what Ginebra, Rain or Shine, or Talk N Text have in their lineup.

One facet missing in their game is a second local option to team up with Gary David. David is always a spectacular scorer but clearly he cannot carry Powerade. Sean Anthony might be a force in the years to come but in his rookie year he is often injured. The team’s depth was so lacking that they had to pull Will Antonio out of retirement.  

Now the Powerade Tigers are the epitome of change. From last year’s lineup, they kept David, Anthony, Antonio, Celino Cruz, Dennis Espino, Francis Allera, Jai Reyes, RJ Rizada, and Ricky Calimag. Some of these players will likely see action on the Coca-Cola corporate outreach squad. Through wheeling and dealing, they managed to claim Josh Vanlandingham and Doug Kramer from Rain or Shine, and Romel Adducul from B-Meg. I am excited for Adducul because he has escaped the San Miguel Corporation. Sure, SMC helped The General during the times where he was sick and recovering from his cancer but they pretty much robbed him to succeed more in the PBA.

Kenneth Duremdes will also return for the squad. The playing governor wants to have a respectable retirement and what better way to that then to share this honor with Espino. Another PBA returnee is Alex Crisano. Crisano has had issues in the past but surely he’ll be a great factor for the squad.


Is it JV, Jayvee, or ugh... Jvee?


But perhaps the best part they beefed up is through acquiring stellar neophytes. Of course, the Smart-Gilas duo of top pick JV Casio and fourth overall pick Marcio Lassiter is a massive upgrade from last season. JV is the marquee point guard that they need. He is a scorer and his FIBA experience should make himself a marked man in the tourney. Same goes for Lassiter who is an all-around performer that can play multiple positions and is reliable with or without the ball. The acquisitions of UE duo Rudy Lingganay and James Martinez will be vital. Lingganay gained massive praise when he played well as an ABL import. Martinez on the other hand was a top collegiate prospect before he got injured. They can be good finds if Casio and Cruz become injured.

OUTLOOK: With all the new players in the Tigers camp, there are still flaws in their roster. Bo Perasol took a lot of good big men but I don’t think they are marquee men (unless Adducul turns back time). The chemistry between the Gilas players and Mr. Pure Energy must be checked as well because for two seasons, the Tigers only had Gary David for scoring comfort. I don’t think the Tigers will improve drastically this season but I’m sure they are ready to hand out surprise performances.  

PHILIPPINE CUP RANK: NINTH 

Game over.

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