MANILA, Philippines - Jumbo Plastic Linoleum has firmed up its backcourt crew by adding three more guards, including ASEAN Basketball League veteran Jerrick Canada as it primes up for the PBA D-League Foundation Cup unfolding Monday at The Arena in San Juan.
Aside from his quickness and deadly outside shooting, Canada, a former Adamson star, will bring in a lot of experience in international play, having helped the Indonesian team win the ABL title two years ago.
The two other new faces for the Giants are National University’s Lee Dennice Villamor and Jeff Viernes, who are both expected to make an immediate impact.
“We have to improve our backcourt rotation that’s why we took three more guards. Being a veteran, Canada will play a big role in the team’s campaign this conference,” said team owner Jimmy dela Cruz.
The Giants, handled by coach Stevenson Tiu are seeking to improve on their quarterfinal finish in the recent Aspirants Cup.
Ceiling is not much of a problem for the Giants having three players standing more than 6-foot-7, led by the 6-foot-8 Jason Ballesteros. Vastly improving Marlon Magat is 6-foot-7 while Gian Chiu is the tallest in the league at 6-foot-9.
Out to provide additional firepower to the team also supported by Fedseal owner Charlie Kwa are Elliot Tan, Jan Colina, Michael Parala, Mark Romero, Jopher Custodio, Karl Dehesa, Mark Lopez and Harry Petilos.
Except for Ballesteros who was once a part of the original Gilas pool, Jumbo Plastic Linoleum has no big name players in the team but Tiu and team manager Bernard Yang are convinced their boys are now more matured and ready for a new challenge.
“As long as we play as a team, we always have a chance to win,” said Tiu.
In only their second tournament, the Giants proved to be a revelation during the elims of the previous conference after posting a 10-3 mark that more than doubled their record during their maiden stint in the league.
But Jumbo’s impressive record in the elims went for naught after losing to Blackwater Sports in the quarters despite its twice-to-beat advantage.