Sta. Lucia dreaming of a sweep

sta-lucia_realtors.gifAmid the wheeling and dealing of almost all teams, the Realtors stood pat and kept themselves away from various trade overtures. There’s some sense into it. If it ain’t broke, why fix it. The bad news around the league is that former Shell import – Wesley Wilson – is in shape and will add rebounding and shotblocking power to the team’s already suffocating post and perimeter defense. How good is Wilson? Well, during his stint with Shell three years ago, he did not only make an impression among various coaches, he totally dominated the competition! The only thing alarming was that he didn’t finish the conference because of a rumored contractual dispute.

Wilson’s addition will allow Kelly Williams to slide to small forward, his most natural position or form a twin tower tandem with Marlou Aquino in the post. Despite having Aquino, Dennis Espino, Williams and Nelbert Omolon, the Realtors were among the poorest rebounding teams in the league. The presence of the 6-11 220-lb ex-Georgetown University standout will change that.

Who would ever believe that the team’s sparkplug Ryan Reyes is only a rookie? Reyes was awesome in his maiden conference in the pros. He is, I think, the leading contender for the ROY honors at season’s end because he does a lot things other than scoring, setting up team plays, and those that don’t show up in the boxscores.

Denok Miranda, long thought to be an afterthought, he finally came to his own. The Miranda-Reyes backcourt team-up is probably the best at disrupting teams’ offensive patterns. Dennis Espino and Marlou Aquino had this to say to those who doubted their ability to finish the conference strongly due to their advancing age – “Kalabaw lang ang tumatanda”.

Espino was easily the Finals MVP after putting up a remarkable and very inspiring performance in the championship round with Aquino not far behind. The pair of high-flying swingmen in Kelly Williams and Nelbert Omolon were a sight to behold in the finals. Their ability to get on the break, defensive tenacity, as well as their incredible consistency spelled the difference between the Realtors playing in the finals and winning it and failing to make it past the classification phase.

Of the lot, especially noteworthy was the way Joseph Yeo played like the Yeo of old, the one drafted 3rd overall in the draft a couple of years ago. Yeo finally found a home with the Realtors after getting ditched at Coca-Cola. His acrobatic shooting and devil-may care attitude have fit in right with the team’s defensive and offensive philosophy.

A sweep of the two crowns in the same season is not far-fetched at this point. It has not happened in a long while but with the way the Realtors have played last conference, nothing is impossible.

Sta. Lucia Realtors | 2007-08 PBA Philippine Cup Stats
(Click to enlarge)