Blackwater taps Chito Loyzaga
AFTER the NLEX-Blackwater game won by the Road Warriors at Araneta Coliseum last Friday, a group of diners arrived at a Chinese restaurant in Quezon City where we were waiting for the family of a relative who is in the coaching staff of NLEX.
The Road Warriors had rallied from 17 points down in regulation to prevail.
One of the men, the one who had been ordering food for his group, stood up and approached us. It was Blackwater team manager Silliman Sy.
“A bitter loss can sometimes result in poor eyesight,” he joked.
Sy had just returned from the Singapore Southeast Asian Games where he rallied behind the Ever Bilena-sponsored national women’s basketball team, Perlas Pilipinas, and watched the games of the men’s Gilas Cadet team, which was reinforced by Blackwater’s import in the PBA Governors’ Cup, Marcus Douthit.
Ever Bilena and Blackwater are beauty and grooming products manufactured by the family of brothers Dioceldo and Silliman Sy.
According to Sy, the Philippines could have won a medal—perhaps even the gold—in women’s basketball were it not for the Filipinos’ shocking foldup in the stretch against vastly improved Indonesia. (Before the Indonesia game, the PH women were ahead of defending champion Thailand and Malaysia in the quotient system and only needed to stay unbeaten in their last two games to win the gold.)
* * *
Marcus Cousin, who temporarily replaced Douthit when the latter played in the SEA Games, politely declined a chicken feet dish offered by Sy.
Actually, the 6-foot-11 Cousin said he lost appetite after his team dropped what he considered a won game to NLEX that night.
The Gilas Cadets, led by Ateneo’s Kiefer Ravena, won the gold in men’s basketball, but no thanks to the naturalized Douthit, who really did not contribute much to the team and was said to have kept late nights in Singapore.
Sy said they had difficulty recruiting American and Asian imports for the Governors’ Cup because they did not know how to go about it. Thus they had to settle for Douthit.
“Birth pains. The team is new. But now we know how to go about it, that’s how we acquired Cousin,” said Sy. “We have four agents assisting us in the recruitment process. If you’re a new team like us, getting a really tall and good import is vital.”
* * *
In preparation for next season, Sy said they need to improve on several aspects of the game, including running and defense.
“We have also hired (the PBA legend and former Philippine Sports Commissioner) Chito Loyzaga to help make our team more competitive,” Sy said.
“During Blackwater games, you’ll see Chito seated behind our bench. He’ll give our coaching staff his observations, point out our strengths and weaknesses and give inputs on what to do about them. In effect, Chito is scouting our team against the opponents.”