It was unceremonious when the iECO Green Warriors’ tune-up game versus PBA ball club and sister team Blackwater Elite on Wednesday night got called off due to a roof leak at the Meralco Gym in Pasig City.
Despite that, Green Warriors head coach Ariel Vanguardia liked the improvements he saw from his team, which will definitely be vital for their campaign in the Asia League’s Terrific 12 in Macau starting September 18.
iECO’s first two tune-ups against Gilas Pilipinas last Sunday and the Meralco Bolts the next day were all blowout losses. But against the Elite, though they only played for two quarters, the Green Warriors technically won, 50-46.
In fact, the Green Warriors even opened the match with a 21-8 blitz.
“We’re much better today,” a delighted Vanguardia told Tiebreaker Times. “Nagkakaroon na ng konting chemistry.”
Aside from the team’s developing jelling, the seasoned bench strategist also lauded the way some of his wards played, such as Filipino-American guard Avery Scharer and half of their foreign reinforcements in Sam Logwood.
In an unofficial tally, Logwood produced 12 points, while Scharer scored eight.
“Sam is healthy – he got a bump against Gilas so he wasn’t able to play against Meralco the other day, but it’s much better now,” shared Vanguardia of Logwood, a 22-year-old from the University of New Mexico
“And we’re much better today especially Scharer. Kasi si Scharer arrived last Saturday, so meron na siyang at least five days, so maganda na legs niya ngayon – malaki expectation ko sa kanya,” he furthered.
The Green Warriors still have one more tune-up left on Saturday versus the NLEX Road Warriors before leaving for Macau. But as early as now, they’re already preparing for their first assignment: the Ryukyu Golden Kings of Japan.
‘We’re preparing now for the first game against Japan. We’re watching film. Kumbaga yun yung pupuntiryahin namin na talunin,” said Vanguardia. “And then tignan namin kung hanggang sa’n namin kaya yung Xinjiang [Flying Tigers].”