Blackwater’s new coach Ariel Vanguardia hopes that the series of moves will translate into an improved showing from his team following a winless campaign in the PBA Philippine Cup.
The Bossing have been busy since that disappointing run, with management appointing Vanguardia to take over from Nash Racela before unloading some of the few bright spots from the previous conference in exchange for a mix of veterans and youngsters.
“We tried to balance the lineup which was one of the things that was talked about with management because the previous team wasn’t as balanced as wanted to,” Vanguardia said during One Sports’ program The Game.
Blackwater’s first move came in late-September when it sent leading scorer Simon Enciso to Terrafirma in exchange for Rashawn McCarthy, who has shown glimpses of providing offense when consistent.
In mid-October, the Bossing dealt Mike Tolomia, who had a solid campaign in the Philippine Cup, and a second round pick in the 2022 draft to the Alaska Aces for veteran playmaker Jvee Casio and big man Barkley Ebona.
Ebona had a solid rookie campaign in 2020, earning All-Rookie Team honors, but his playing time dwindled during the season-opening tournament.
Recently, Blackwater dealt big man Marion Magat back to NLEX for two sophomores in Mike Ayonayon, a capable scorer during his PBA D-League and MPBL days, and rugged big man Will McAloney.
“We filled up the positions we needed and it’s unfortunate that we have to make changes,” said Vanguardia. “But right now, we’re happy with our make up, and we’re looking forward to building chemistry.”
Jaylen Bond, a former G-League player with the Westchester Knicks who had stints in Italy, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, will reinforce Blackwater in the Governors’ Cup which would start once all imports have arrived in the country.
Blackwater lost all 11 games last conference, resulting in a league record of 19 consecutive defeats dating back to last season’s Philippine Cup bubble and prompting management to make significant changes.