Blackwater Elite coach Bong Ramos has one piece of advice for the new iECO team set to represent the Philippines in the 2018 Asia League Terrific 12 in Macau next week -- play defense and control the boards.
Ramos led Blackwater in the Asia League Summer Super 8 Basketball Tournament in Macau in July.
The Elite missed the playoffs by percentage points after finishing the group stage in a three-way tie with Guangzhou Long Lions and Samsung Thunders.
"I think [iECO Green Warriors] have a chance to run, but again, they will have a problem running if they don't play defense and grab the rebounds. Defense is important if they want to run," Ramos told ESPN5 on Thursday.
Ramos had a chance to see the Green Warriors play in a tuneup match Wednesday night at the Meralco gym.
The practice was cut short in the first half due to a leak from the roof of the Meralco gym following a heavy downpour. The Green Warriors were ahead, 56-53 when the game was called off.
Blackwater played without starting slotman JP Erram and Allein Maliksi -- both are with the Gilas -- while Mark Cruz and James Sena were loaned by the Elite to iECO.
Ramos said iECO has a reliable import in Richard Howell, who won the 2014 Commissioner's Cup Best Import award after serving as Talk 'N Text's (now TNT) reinforcement.
"Maybe the disadvantage for the team is it was formed just recently, but then, they got Rich Howell and then two very good Fil-Americans also plus the core of Go for Gold, so I'm pretty sure they will give a good fight," he said.
iECO also tapped University of Mexico standout Sam Logwood.
The Green Warriors, who will be coached by Ariel Vanguardia, also enlisted Fil-Americans Joshua Munzon and Avery Scharer to join the local Go for Gold core of Gab Banal, Ron Dennison, Matt Salem, Kris Porter and Jai Reyes.
Munzon is coming off a 24.6 points per game average with the Westports Malaysia Dragons this past season.
Scharer saw action for the Dragons in 2014, averaging 15.1 points, 6.0 rebounds and 6.5 assists per game, helping the team reach the Finals where they lost to Hi-Tech Bangkok City.