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Draft picks Belo, Banal bring hope to Blackwater

BLACKWATER is looking forward to a bright future.

Netting Gilas cadet Mac Belo and Raphael Banal in the 2016 PBA Rookie Draft has apparently brought a ray of hope for the Elite, which has struggled in its first two seasons in the league.

Even coach Leo Isaac believes the future looks bright for his team this coming season with the arrival of Belo and Banal. “They can develop into future PBA superstars,” Isaac said of his two rookie picks.

Gilas Cadets standout Mac Belo (center) joins Blackwater players and officials during the presentation of players in the past 2016 PBA Draft. Belo is the consensus top amateur prospect to join the PBA this season.
Notwithstading their impressive skills, Belo and Banal can’t turn Blackwater’s fortune around by themselves. They will need a lot of support so everybody will have to step and up if they intend to go up the ladder.

Losing scoring leader Carlo Lastimosa certainly stings, but All-Rookie Team member Art dela Cruz is still around and should be a good fit with Belo and Banal.

Isaac said he also expects his young backcourt of Roi Sumang, Nard Pinto, and Juami Tiongson to raise their game as they play alongside veteran court general  Denok Miranda.

JP Erram will not be around for the Philippine Cup due to an ACL injury he sustained late last season, but that’s the least of Isaac’s concern with Belo and Reil Cervantes taking over.

Isaac admits there’s still a lot of room for improvement. But he remains positive just the same.

“The team is determined to succeed,” Isaac said. “We want to be there, competing regularly in the playoffs and fighting with the contenders.”

The 2017 Philippine Cup will be a good barometer of how far Blackwater has improved in the 42nd season of the league.

Topics: Blackwater , Mac Belo , Raphael Banal , 2016 PBA Rookie Draft
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