MANILA, Philippines – Cellar-dweller Barako Bull is looking for its first win since the exit of coach Junel Baculi.
But it might not be easy when it tangles against powerhouse team San Mig Coffee in the PBA Philippine Cup on Friday.
The Energy Cola management decided to release Baculi after the team lost 4 of its last 5 games.
The Barako Bull hopes its fortunes will change under assistant coach Bong Ramos.
"It's a given that San Mig is a tough team," Ramos said in the league’s official website. "We prepared for this game and though it won't be easy, we have to execute our gameplan while playing tough defense."
Aside from losing Baculi, the Energy Cola will also miss the services of Enrico Villanueva, who suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).
Ramos said this means that the rest of the team will have to adjust.
"The team must step up," he said.
San Mig Coffee coach Tim Cone said Barako Bull remains a strong threat despite its 3-6 win-loss record.
During their last face-off, the Mixers were only able to escape with a 92-91 squeaker over the Energy Cola.
"Barako played us very tough in our last meeting. We were fortunate to escape with a win," said Cone, whose team holds the No. 2 spot with a 6-2 record.
"We're expecting a very similar battle with Coach Bong now steering the team."