Still without an import with just a week to go before the start of the PBA Commissioner's Cup, Phoenix coach Koy Banal is banking on the team's intact roster as it eyes at least a semifinal stint in the second conference.
Banal described veterans Willy Wilson, JC Intal, Mick Pennisi and Josh Urbiztondo as "glues" to a Phoenix team that is carrying the core of the former Barako Bull franchise.
"Ang sabi ko sa kanila Willy and JC, you guys are not done yet. You can push some more and your leadership by example can rub off on anybody," Banal told FOX Sports on Tuesday.
The 6-foot-4 Wilson, an undersized power forward, is coming off career-best numbers of 17.5 points and 12.2 rebounds in the Philippine Cup, where Barako Bull placed eighth.
The 6-foot-4 Intal, on the other hand, contributed 13 points per contest in the all-Filipino conference as he continues to dazzle the crowd with his athleticism and perimeter shooting.
Banal said the local core led by Wilson and Intal is determined to make noise in the import-spiced conference where each team is allowed to tap 6-foot-9 reinforcements.
For the moment, the Phoenix mentor is still finalizing the Accelerators’ import for the mid-season conference, though he did say it will be someone who can provide solid rebounding and inside scoring.
"We're establishing a system where the import can just fit in to what we want to do," explained Banal.
But definitely, Banal said they intend to play up-tempo basketball in order to make use of the team's guard-heavy roster.
Phoenix kicks off its Commissioner's Cup campaign on February 17 against NLEX.