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Cardel’s Wish: Terrafirma management retains Dyip core

Terrafirma head coach Johnedel Cardel is keen on keeping his current team following a campaign to remember in the PBA Season 48 Philippine Cup.

The seasoned mentor believes that the present-day Dyip are only a few pieces away from becoming the squad they’ve been wanting to be after his charges brought the franchise just to its second quarterfinal appearance in history.

“Maganda na ‘yung takbo ng team na ‘to,” he said. “Dadagdagan na lang ‘to para maging stable, tsaka ma-maintain ung ano ‘yung naging performance namin nitong All-Filipino. Kung ano ‘yung kulang, pupunan namin.”

Cardel said as much shortly after absorbing a 110-91 beatdown at the hands of San Miguel in their do-or-die tiff on Wednesday at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium.

The former cager turned bench tactician could only concede how wide the gap was in terms of experience between the two, with the Beermen flexing their might in the second half to serve as a response from that upset last Saturday.

It could be recalled that Terrafirma came away with a shocking 106-95 win in their first encounter, disarming the reigning conference champions of their twice-to-beat incentive for their first-ever playoff victory in team history.

They appeared to be on the way to repeating that when the crew led by as many as seven in the first half, but June Mar Fajardo and Co. got to their old, lethal form in the third canto to set up the blowout en route to the semis.

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“Lumabas ‘yung immaturity. Nawala ‘yung plano namin,” he said. “Siyempre champion team ‘yan eh, so we expected talaga na ibang San Miguel ‘yung makakalaban namin. But we fought in the first half.

“But going into the third quarter, of course this is a championship team so nag-iba talaga ‘yung laro — June Mar dominated inside; all the shooters like Romeo and Lassiter and Trollano, lahat nag-contribute kaya nahirapan kami.

“Tapos minalas naman ‘yung mga bigs namin, ‘yung outside shooting hindi pumasok. Kaya expected talaga na ganun mangyayari,” he added.

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But instead of lamenting what went wrong, Cardel and Co. hold their heads up high, rather focusing on the lessons that this particular playoff series taught them which he believes would be vital for the next PBA season.

“We had a good experience going up against this champion team,” he said. “‘Yung Game One nakuha namin which was a big, big, big morale booster for the team. Then we lost. Why we lost, alam na namin kung bakit.”

And the fact that this was easily the best conference they’ve had makes Terrafirma all the more proud despite Wednesday’s result.

“As a head coach of this team, talagang masaya ako dahil seven wins, ‘no? Not bad for my career coaching this Terrafirma team,” said Cardel, smiling, as his team finished the all-Filipino tournament with an overall record of 7-7.

So sooner or later, it’s back to the drawing board for the rest of the Dyip as they put their heads together for the PBA Rookie Draft in July.

“As of now hindi ko pa alam kung pang-apat kami o pang-lima. Pero kung ano ‘yung kulang ng team namin, paguusapan namin ng mga coaches and the bosses,” said Cardel as they’re projected to pick late in the Top 5.

“Maybe five, another point guard na malaki para makapagpahinga si Holt and si Juami, or maybe another shooter,” he added.

Written By

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.

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