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2014-15 Blackwater Elite and KIA Sorento Primer

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To celebrate the 40th season of Asia’s premiere basketball league, the PBA expanded from 10 teams to 12 teams.

Why corporations enter the league

The PBA is quite different from its western counterparts. Teams in the league don’t represent a town, a city or a province. The teams in the PBA represent a corporation, so technically each team that consists of “jocks” is managed and owned by “nerds”.

So why do these corporations spend more than a 100 million pesos to run a sports team?

In an episode of Pinoy Hoops: Dream Country by Rafe Bartholomew, Alaska Aces owner Fred Uytengsu discussed how the product advertised by a PBA franchise, especially if they win a championship, always translated to sales.

Thinking about it, owning a PBA team is cheaper compared to buying 15 to 30 second spots on TV. We will discuss this in further detail in a separate article.

Finally, for some owners and entrepreneurs, competing against fellow entrepreneurs and beating them on the hard-court is an ego boost to them.

The corporations that made the cut: Columbian Autocar Corporation and Ever Bilena Cosmetics Incorporated

Rumors circulated early this year about the corporations that were interested in joining the league. A list of the rumored entries included the Jollibee Corporation, the SM group, another MVP company, Phoenix Petroleum, a La Tondena brand, a car manufacturer and the Ever Bilena Corporation.

As we all know, the North Luzon Expressway Corporation bought out the Air21 Express franchise to avoid the dispersal draft. The Columbian Autocar Corporation and the Ever Bilena Cosmetics Incorporated made the final cut for the teams.

How different did these two corporations approach their first season

After discussing the benefits of having a PBA franchise, the Columbian Autocar Corporation and the Ever Bilena Cosmetics Incorporated made two distinct approaches in building their roster for year 1.

Team name

The Columbian Autocar Corporation picked the name KIA Sorento as the team that will represent the corporation. Placing the car model in the teams name and moniker is the ultimate throwback to a legendary car brand team from the past, the Toyota Super Corolas. The Sorento is the top selling sports utility vehicle for KIA.

For the team name, we give the KIA Sorento a B.

The Ever Bilena Cosmetics Incorporated has a huge product line to choose from to advertise in the league. However, majority of that product line ranges from eyeliners to mascaras to whitening creams and lipsticks, in other words, female products. Well, the Ever Bilena line also has the widely successful Blackwater cologne in their line. Moreover, the brand had a good run in the PBA’s developmental league. From there the team chose the moniker Elite which we at the Wire love.

For the team name, we give the Blackwater Elite an A+.

Roster 

Now this is where it gets tricky. Here’s the list of the current depth charts for both teams:

Projected Depth Chart: KIA
CReil CervantesMike BurstcherAngelus Raymundo
FHans ThieleRich AlvarezRichard Alonzo
FPaul SangaJoshua WebbKenneth Ighalo
GAlvin PadillaEder John SalduaJR Buencuseco
GRudy LingganayLA RevillaManny Pacquiao

vs.

Projected Depth Chart: Blackwater
CJason BallesterosBryan FaundoGilbert Bulawan
FLarry RodriguezEddie LaureBambam Gamalinda
FOgie MenorJR CawalingBacon Austria
GAlex NuylesSunday SalvacionBrian Huruela
GChris TimberlakePaul ArtadiJuami Tiongson

 

Given the circumstances given to both teams, the teams initially built their roster based on players released by the initial 10 teams. Both teams were also given the last two picks for the 2014 rookie draft in the first 2 rounds and all the picks there after.

KIA Sorento Roster 

The team’s management was frowned upon after the team selected Manny Pacquiao, the team’s playing coach, as their first pick in a pretty stacked draft class. Now, we at the Wire think that there was logic to that madness.

In building a basketball franchise, everyone knows that they should form a team with a solid line-up that will compete every night. In the backend though, the team’s management should be able to market the team well to build a fan base and to promote a product.

The KIA Sorento, for their 1st year in the pros, made marketing their priority. How many times, in our lifetime, can we see Manny Pacquiao compete in a Philippine arena in any sport? This would translate to ticket sales and other sources of revenue for the team, including jersey and merchandise sales.

On the other hand, however, the team failed to build a competitive team. A lot of questions have been raised with regards to the team’s roster. Where will the points come from? What offensive scheme will they run? What will the team’s rotation look like?

Blackwater Elite

If the Sorentos focused more on the marketing side of sports management, Ever Bilena owner Mr. Dioceldo Sy focused on respectability. The team followed the footsteps of the Elasto Painters franchise in which years and years of patience eventually paid-off. It took the Elasto Painters 6 years before the team became part of the upper echelon of teams in the league.

On paper, the team drafted well during the dispersal draft and the rookie draft. The Elite have an excellent point guard rotation with veterans Chris Timberlake and Paul Artadi leading the way. Uber-athletic Alex Nuyles is an excellent pick-up and will be the team’s leading scorer. The frontline of the team, Ballesteros, Larry Rodriguez, and Eddie Laure, will not be push-overs as well. And we cannot wait for the PBA debut of super scorer Juneric Baloria once the NCAA season is over.

Our predictions: 

The Sorentos will fail to register a win this conference but the crowds will show-up every night just to see the Fighting Pride of the Philippines play ball.

Sorento 2014 Philippine Cup prediction: 12th place, eliminated in the elimination round

The Elite, on the other hand, will score some wins and even upset some of the top 10 teams. However, this won’t be enough for them to advance to the wildcard phase of the tournament.

Elite 2014 Philippine Cup prediction: 11th place, eliminated in the elimination round

 2014-15 PBA Philippine Cup Primers


Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times 2014-15 Blackwater Elite and KIA Sorento Primer News    Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times 2014-15 Blackwater Elite and KIA Sorento Primer News
Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times 2014-15 Blackwater Elite and KIA Sorento Primer News    Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times 2014-15 Blackwater Elite and KIA Sorento Primer News
Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times 2014-15 Blackwater Elite and KIA Sorento Primer News    Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times 2014-15 Blackwater Elite and KIA Sorento Primer News
Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times 2014-15 Blackwater Elite and KIA Sorento Primer News    Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times 2014-15 Blackwater Elite and KIA Sorento Primer News
Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times 2014-15 Blackwater Elite and KIA Sorento Primer News    Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times 2014-15 Blackwater Elite and KIA Sorento Primer News
Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times 2014-15 Blackwater Elite and KIA Sorento Primer News
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