#PBA2015 Roster Review: The Blackwater Elite

With the 2014-2015 PBA season’s official rosters released, I found it only logical to look at each line-up and see where each team stands. In this series of posts, I’ll be breaking down each team’s bigs, wings, and floor generals while also looking at what kind of damage they’ll do this season.

Let’s look at roster of the Blackwater Elite.

Meet the faces of the Blackwater expansion team.

Overall 2013-2014 Record: Not applicable.

Best Finish: Not applicable.

BIGS: Bryan Faundo, Larry Rodriguez, Jason Ballesteros, Riego Gamalinda, Eddie Laure, Gilbert Bulawan, JP Erram
- Larry Rodriguez might be the only guy who stands out here, but Leo Isaac actually has something to work with here. Rodriguez is a guy who once averaged around 10 points and 6 rebounds for Rain or Shine. With most of the frontline minutes probably going to him, it stands to reason the PMI alum will be the Elite’s most productive big guy.
Larry Rodriguez could be the anchor of this team in the paint.
(image by Paolo Papa/Sports5)

- Jason Ballesteros is another guy who has the potential to contribute. At 6’8, 29 years old, and with Gilas experience under his belt, this might just be the big break he needs to strut his stuff. This guy used to score, rebound, and defend with impunity in the NCAA, and we’re all still waiting with baited breath if he can somehow make a splash in the pros. Hopefully, being Blackwater’s main slotman can make that happen.

WINGS: Alex Nuyles, Ogie Menor, JR Cawaling, Sunday Salvacion, Bacon Austria
- I’m actually quite excited to see this win combination. Nuyles showed some flashes of brilliance with ROS last season, Menor has never really blossomed, and all Cawaling really seems to need is the right amount of playing time. This expansion team looks to be exactly what these guys need to be relevant at this level. Who knows, maybe by the time the season ends, a couple of these guys will be borderline All-Stars, right?

Alex Nuyles should be Blackwater's top option in the perimeter.
(image by Paul Ryan Tan/Sports 5)

- Sunday Salvacion and Bacon Austria, meanwhile, will probably play utility roles. Salvacion’s shooting will be an asset, especially in clutch situations, while Austria will be the shock trooper off the bench that coach Isaac will count on in a pinch.

FLOOR GENERALS: Chris Timberlake, Juami Tiongson, Paul Artadi, Brian Heruela
- I’m high on Tiongson being an effective playmaker in the pros, and that’s not just because he was my former student. I can easily see his shooting and playmaking being on full display. Heruela is another promising PG, too. Artadi, meanwhile, should be a great mentor to both, while Timberlake will finally have a strong chance to show his wares.

Paul Artadi gets another shot at stardom with the Elite.
(image by Paul Ryan Tan/Sports 5)
Final Word: Potential

- The Elite certainly won’t be part of the league’s elite anytime soon, but they have the potential to be a great team in a few years. Think Rain or Shine in its early years in the league. With a bit of patience and a couple of clever roster moves, Blackwater might actually live up to its moniker sooner rather than later.

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