PBA 44 review: So what's next for Blackwater?
Paul Lintag on Jan 24, 2020 03:00 PM
In the 2019 season, the Elite got their most wins ever in a single conference in the Commissioner's Cup. They also finished in last place twice.
You thought the PBA's 43rd season was a long one?
Yeah, the PBA's 44th season had it beat.
The 2019 PBA season started at the Philippine Arena on January 13, 2019. It officially ended January 17, 2020 when Barangay Ginebra won the Governors' Cup Finals.
Ironically, the Gin Kings won the first and last games of the 2019 season.
Anyway, the point is the PBA's 44th season was a marathon. And before a new one starts, it's time to take a look at how all 12 teams fared in the past year.
Today, we look at the Blackwater Elite.
Blackwater had a weird season to say the least.
The Elite had arguably their tournament in the 2018 Governors' Cup. Naturally, teams build off from that kind of performance.
But then Blackwater traded its franchise pillar in Poy Erram for a pair of first-round picks they didn't even select themselves.
The Elite ended up stumbling to last place in the Philippine Cup.
Still, Blackwater proved it can put together a solid campaign, finishing as the no. 3 seed in the Commissioner's Cup and came one win away from making a break through semifinals appearance.
However, things fell apart in the Governors' Cup as Blackwater dealt Abu Tratter to Alaska, one of the first-round picks they got in the Erram trade.
Mike DiGregorio, another key pillar for the Elite was traded away as well. Bobby Ray Parks Jr., the team's no. 2 pick from the previous Draft, lasted less than two conferences with the team before he was dealt as well.
In the 2019 season, the Elite got their most wins ever in a single conference in the Commissioner's Cup.
Blackwater also finished in last place for the other two conferences... and yet they didn't get the no. 1 pick in the Draft.
Weird season, to say the least. So what now?
Blackwater ELITE in the PBA's 44th season
Philippine Cup: 2-9 (12th place)
Commissioner's Cup: 7-3 (3rd place, lost in Quarterfinals)
Governors' Cup: 2-9 (12th place)
Overall: 11 wins and 22 losses. One playoff appearance.
It's a new era unfolding at Blackwater as the team signed former FEU and TNT head coach Nash Racela.
The Elite have stockpiled former Tamaraws too with guys like Mac Belo, Mike Tolomia, and Carl Bryan Cruz in the line.
FEU won a UAAP title with coach Nash. Can Blackwater replicate that success? Can the Elite even come close?
Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8