THERE is more at stake for Terrafirma when it takes on Converge Friday at the start of their PBA On Tour campaign at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
For coach Johnedel Cardel, likewise riding on his team's preparations for the coming season that kicks off in October are the fates of those Dyip who have expiring contracts.
"Dito ma-de-decide fate ng mga expirees," said Cardel on the eve of the match. "Kahit na no-bearing ang mga games, meron pa ring bearing ito para sa kanila."
Almost all the current Dyip have contracts that last only up to December and Cardel has decided to include former 3X3 players Jeremiah Taladua and Shaq Alanes to the mix of those who would be threshed out.
"Preparation na rin for the coming season, para makita talaga kung sino p'wede at hindi uubra sa sistema," explained Cardel.
Cardel already has a clear idea of what his team needs right now when center Joseph Gabayni opted to leave. "Lalo kaming lumiit nu'ng mawala si Gabayni so ang natira lang naming bigs sila Isaac (Go), Aldrech (Ramos) and (Eric (Camson)," he said.
"Kung wala kaming makuha in the course of this 'On Tour' siguro sa draft na lang kami aasa," added Cardel, referring to the two first round and as many second round picks his team owns for the Sept. 17 draft.
"Priority namin bigs. Kung makakakuha kami ng dalawang bigs, very welcome para sa amin iyon."
In the meantime, Terrafirma would be trying out an innovation to its offense to make up for its last of size.
"More on takbuhan kami ngayon kasi nga maliliit," said Cardel. "Kaya naman we have prepared accordingly since we started practices almost three weeks now. Siyempre, emphasis nasa conditioning."
Terrafirma's adjustments are sure to be severely tested against Converge, which has its fast-paced offense complemented by its pressure defense.
What's more, the FiberXers are also fielding a virtually intact lineup with Adrian Wong and Mike Nieto the only new additions after being acquired from Magnolia and Rain or Shine, respectively, in a pair of recent trades. (NC)