AFTER emerging Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) pre-season champion, the Davao Occidental Tigers will hold quarters in Davao City for one month to hold a series of basketball clinics for kids and hone their skills before regular season opens on June 12 in a still undetermined venue.
"For now we probably have one month until the season starts so we focus on practicing and getting to know each other. We still have to instill the system to our players so first things first we got to work to compete," head coach Don Dulay, who steered the Tigers to a 118-115 stunning victory over the Manila Stars in the pre-season championship match last May 12 in General Santos City.
In Thursday's Davao Sportswriters Association (DSA) Forum held at The Annex of SM City Davao, Dulay, “Other than practice, we plan on putting on clinics for the fans and kids of Davao so they would get to know our players."
The team is bannered by an all-Filipino roster including Davao City players team captain Louie Medalla, prized bigmen Jay Cabañog and Ronald Lamocha,
Mikko Estrellante, Don Adormeo and Bob Ombecan.
Completing the team are former PBA player Leo Najorda, Manuelito Osabel, Leo Paller, Paul Siarot, Edrian Lao, Emman Calo, Bogs Raymundo, Billy Robles, Mario Leonidas and Joseph Terso with coaching staff Rob Wainright and Arvin Bonleon.
"If you look at our team it’s mostly from the south and I think we only have four players from Manila," Dulay said.
He added that the team has no plans of seeking Fil-Am reinforcements, saying, "We will just stick with what we've got. We’re pretty happy with this team and we feel we could compete. We will put this team together because the last time that we won, these players compete at a high level. As long as we work hard, I see a big chance of winning this.”
The head coach cited that Manila Stars will be the toughest team to reckon with, saying: “They had experience over us, I mean, we will face that the whole league. They have a lot of big names and experience but like what I’ve said our team is not going to rely on big names but we are going to rely on hard work,” Dulay said.
Within the month, Davao Occidental Tigers will fly to Cebu City and Manila for some tune-up games.