WANTED: A reliable point guard for the Marikina Shoemasters in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL).
While keeping its line-up intac for next season, Marikina coach Elvis Tolentino admitted the team is still “a few pieces short of achieving its goal of contending for the championship.”
Tolentino knows exactly what he needs for the team right now.
“I need another leader — a veteran point guard still in his prime,” said Tolentino, son of multi-awarded player-coach Loreto “Ato” Tolentino.
“Sa ngayon, kailangan ko ng leadership ng isang point guard para sa team. Yun ang hinahanap ko,” added Tolentino, who also serves as councilor of Marikina.
Tolentino said former Letran College standout Ato Ular and Philippine Christian University gunner Yves Sazon, can be more effective with a veteran point guard orchestrating the plays.
“Mas magiging effective yun 1-2 punch namin na sina Ular at Sason kung may magaling na point guard sa team,” he said
Ular, Sason, Von Tambeling and Daryl Pascual have already been retained by the team, which is hoping to turn things around following a disappointing 8-22 win-loss record in the Chooks-to-Go MPBL Lakan Season.
Overall, the Shoemasters finished 13th in the MPBL Northern Division.
“Yung last season namin naging parang developmental season para sa amin. Para nawala na mga players from the previous season kaya bago ulit,” explained Tolentin
“Kailangan makabawi. Hindj naman tayo sasali dito just to participate. Gaya ng ibang teams, gusto din nating mag-champion.”
Tolentino had good words for his starters, including Ular and Sazon, In the Lakan Season, Ular, who suited up for Marikina immediately after finishing his stint with Letran in the NCAA, posted monster averages of 21.8 points and 16.0 rebounds per game in nine games with thw Shoemasters.
The 6-4 Ular also earned a spot in the MPBL All-Star Game.
Sazon, who is the second player in MPBL history to reach the 1000-point club, was just as deadly.
He finished as the third leading scorer in the league with 17.9 points per game average, including 15 20-point games last season.