With the abundance of guards in its line-up headed by veteran Mike Cortez and newly signed Roi Sumang, the Blackwater Elite will likely employ a running game in its campaign in the new season of the Philippine Basketball Association Season 41 Governors’ Cup beginning July.
Blackwater coach Leo Isaac believes that the strength of the Elite would lie in its backcourt because of the presence of Cortez, Sumang, Jerick Canada, Carlo Lastimosa, Almond Vosotros, and Raphael Reyes.
“That’s how I see it. We will be relying more on our backcourt because we have plenty of talented guards,” Isaac told The Manila Times. “We are still waiting for the arrival of our two imports on July 1 before we make any assessment.”
“So far, the goal is to improve every game. Our target is to improve our finish last conference and we’re hoping to reach deeper in the playoff round in this coming third conference. We also need to be more aggressive in our defense,” he added.
Former Meralco Bolts import Eric Dawson will be the Elite’s American reinforcement, complemented by their Asian import Palestinian combo guard Imad Qawash. The 6-foot-8 Dawson has an average of 29.5 points and 16 rebounds plus 2.8 assists per game for Meralco during the 2013 Commissioner’s Cup.
Blackwater and Mahindra are allowed to sign imports whose height is at least 6-foot-9 (the height limit for imports in the Governors’ Cup is 6-foot-5) because of their poor performance last conference. The Elite finished the second conference with a 3-8 win-loss record.
“I believe Dawson is a good choice and he will fit to our system plus our Asian import,” said Isaac. “They will blend very well with our local players, but let’s see. They will arrive on July 1 according to the respective contracts that they signed.”
Qawash is known as a playmaker with an average six assists per game during the 2015 FIBA Asia Championship in Changsha, China. He scored 17 points in Palestine’s 75-73 win over Gilas Pilipinas in the elimination round.