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2015-16 PBA Season Preview: Barako Bull Energy

By: - Reporter / @MarkGiongcoINQ
05:43 PM October 13, 2015

Barako Bull showed promise last season, making the playoffs in each of the three conferences.

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And Energy head coach Koy Banal hopes his team will be able to build on that performance in the new season, which opens on Sunday, without looking too far ahead.

“We just want to be in the middle of the pack. Right now our main goal is to be able to go out there day in and day out with our full energy. We have to live up to our name,” Banal said.

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“We have to show our fans and the PBA that we are ready to fight and ready to give our all. We don’t have expectations to win. We just want to develop a winning habit at first,” he added.

Barako Bull will be led by JC Intal, who is fresh off a stint with the national team, Mac Baracael and guard RR Garcia.

“[Baracael will help us] a lot. He is a very versatile player. He can play as a big four and a three and we know that he can shoot from the outside and be a tretch four and we need that from him,” Banal said of the former Ginebra forward.

“His international experience being part of Gilas 1 and with Alaska and Ginebra will also help our young guys.”

The 30-year-old Baracael feels he will play a bigger role as one of the leaders of Barako Bull.

“Kung titignan mo, kulang yung team ng main man kaya yung expectations sakin,” Baracael said.

Banal is also expecting James Forrester to contribute in his third year in the league after failing to make any mark in his first couple of seasons with Ginebra as a fourth overall pick.

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Forrester, whom Banal coached in college with the Arellano Chiefs in the NCAA, is part of the Energy’s heavy guard rotation that includes Garcia, Eman Monfort, Josh Urbiztondo, Jeric Fortuna and Chico Lanete.

In a tuneup game against NLEX, Banal makes sure he fields in a three-guard lineup on the floor whether it’s a combination of Garcia-Lanete-Monfort or a different mix.

“I just want to maximize what we have,” Banal said after a 110-97 loss to the Road Warriors.

And with five days left before the opening of the 41st season, the Energy swapped Rico Maierhofer for Jervy Cruz.

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