Can the young Dragons spew fire?

welcoat_dragons.gifIt was only recently that the Welcoat Dragons lost their top player and coach. Coach Leo Austria couldn’t understand what direction the team is heading after management traded top player Nic Belasco to Coca-Cola for seldom-used Mark Isip. Belasco led the team in scoring and rebounding, and most importantly, provided the one-year old team with veteran leadership and mental toughness. Austria quit, out of frustration. Management was frustrated, too, with the team’s dismal performance last conference after enlisting crack amateurs Joe Devance and Ryan Arana from the draft and getting Belasco from Alaska. Erstwhile assistant coach Caloy Garcia takes over the team in an interim basis but he gets the job if the Dragons suddenly makes a splash in the coming conference. Don’t bet on that!
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Austria out as Welcoat Dragons' coach

leo-austria.pngMy hunch was that a change was imminent in the Welcoat Dragons’ camp. When everything seemed to be in place for the young Dragons in coming 2008 PBA Fiesta Cup, the team and head coach Leo Austria decided they had enough of losing wanted a changed in direction.

The Dragons were expected to contend last conference after a massive retooling in the offseason sparked by the acquisition of talented rookies Joe Devance, Don Dulay and Ryan Arana from the draft and the free agency, and veteran Nic Belasco from the trade market. Injuries and lack of experience, however, prevented the team from making any splash last All-Filipino conference. There were some moments when you thought the Dragons were winning but it was apparently, just a mirage. You also have to factor in the sidelining of the young Jay-R Reyes. Reyes’ absence left a big void in the middle for the Dragons. When the smoke of the battle cleared, the Dragons wound up with a 3-15 (W-L) mark and a last place finish which was no different from the slate they had last year pre-Joe Devance era. All in all, the Dragons are a combined 10-44 (W-L) in 1 1/2 seasons with Austria.
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The imports are coming!

Wesley Wilson
Can Wesley Wilson carry the Realtors to a coveted Grand Slam?

With only a few weeks to go prior to the start of the 2008 PBA Fiesta Cup (League opens on March 29 in Panabo City, Davao del Norte), teams are in frantic search to acquire highly-talented imports overseas to beef up their lineup. The height restrictions for foreign reinforcements have been scrapped to give way to mastodons such as ex-Red Bull and now Miami Heat cager 7’0″ Earl Barron to play in the league. Three years ago when the same system was implemented, Talk N Text’s 6’8″ Jerald Honeycutt stood tall against the giants and copped the PBA Best Import trophy, while leading the Phonepals to a second place finish.

In addition, the league also gave a concession to the Welcoat Dragons and the Coca-Cola Tigers (for finishing 9th and 10th at the end of the classification) to bring in another import standing not lower than 6’1″.
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