April 14, 2024

Terrafirma to start big in ambitious rebuild as PBA On Tour campaign starts vs Converge

Terrafirma to start big in ambitious rebuild as PBA On Tour campaign starts vs Converge

Perennial bottom-feeder Terrafirma Dyip has no way to go but up.

But coach Johnedel Cardel knows it will take a big rebuild if the Dyip are to change their fortunes.

It will also take a couple of big men to jumpstart Terrafirma’s efforts to field in a more competitive team come PBA Season 48, which is set to begin in October.

"Priority namin bigs. Kung makakakuha kami ng dalawang bigs, very welcome para sa amin iyon," said Cardel via the official league website on the eve of Terrafirma’s PBA On Tour debut against the Converge FiberXers.

Terrafirma’s need for big men, according to Cardel, only got magnified with the departure of Joseph Gabayni, leaving an already thin frontline even thinner. With Gabayni out, the Dyip’s remaining bigs will be 6-foot-7 stretch four Aldrech Ramos, 6-foot-4 banger Eric Camson, and 6-foot-8 Isaac Go, who is still recovering from his ACL reconstruction.

Cardel is hopeful to acquire much-needed size during the course of the PBA On Tour, but he is keeping his options open until later in the year.

"Kung wala kaming makuha in the course of this On Tour, siguro sa draft na lang kami aasa," said Cardel, whose team owns the 1st and 12th picks in the 2023 PBA Draft set on September 17.

The Dyip will potentially have two second rounders as well in a draft that might include big men Justine Baltazar, Will Gozum, Raffy Verano, and Lawrence Domingo.

In the meantime, Cardel promises to turn Terrafirma into a high-octane, run-and-gun team to offset its lack of size.

"More on takbuhan kami ngayon kasi nga maliliit," said Cardel of Terrafirma’s shift in philosophy, at least in this preseason. "Kaya naman we have prepared accordingly since we started practices almost three weeks now. Siyempre, emphasis nasa conditioning."

Turning things around will be a tall order for Terrafirma. It needs to start now.