SLR Resigns Aquino, Mendoza and Miranda

On: 24 August 2008

Marlou Aquino

“If it ain’t broke, why fix it?” This seems to be the question that SLR management thought long and hard before they signed restricted free agents Marlou Aquino, Paolo Mendoza and Dennis Miranda. The three veterans were signed in an obvious effort to boost the Realtors chances of defending their 2008 Philipine Cup title in the 34th season of the Philippine Basketball Association which will officially start on 04 October 2008.

It can be recalled that three veterans were major contributors when the Realtors won their first ever All-Filipino crown in a grueling 7-game finals series against the Purefoods Tender Juicy Hotdogs where they average 27.17 points, 7.49 rebounds, 7.6 assists and 1.8 steals per game.

The point production of the three players were a clear improvement from their 21.78-point per game average during the elimination round of the same conference. What is more important is that they took some of the load off their two primary scorers in the finals, Kelly Williams and Dennis Espino.

With Aquino, Mendoza and Miranda back in their fold, are the Realtors really ready to become a back-to-back All-Filipino champions?

Well, the additions of the three veterans will definitely be a big boost, but without a legitimate center aside from Espino and Aquino, the Realtors are still far from the team to be feared in the next Conference. Although an entertaining revelation last season, the Realtors still need to infuse a lot of athleticism in their roster. The age factor has clearly already taken its toll on the former premier slotman Espino when he can only average 6.75 points, 3.70 rebounds and 1.3 assists in the just concluded 2008 import-laden Fiesta Conference. This is a far cry from his 18.57 points, 4.14 rebounds and 0.9 assists in the All-Filipino finals where he was cited as the best player of the series.

Even with the emergence of Nelbert Omolon as a potential inside scoring threat, there are not enough options available to boost the fans confidence that the team can ascend to the next level. However, everything is not yet gloomy on this side of the fence. Remember that there is still a slight chance that the Realtors can discover a ‘sleeper’ of a talent from the draft pool or better yet pry some promising player from the free agency market. So far, the SLR management seems to have the knack for this kind of things, especially after they selected Rookie of the Year Ryan Reyes third overall last year over the other well-known names and aggressively pushed for the trade that sent Joseph Yeo to their fold.

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