Two weeks into Terrafirma's practices in Batangas, coach Johnedel Cardel feels an air of excitement with the additions of Fil-foreign rookies Joshua Munzon and James Laput as well as veteran help on the bench.
Cardel spoke highly of Munzon even though the Fil-Am wingman missed the bulk of the Dyip's training sessions due to his Gilas Pilipinas 3x3 commitments.
"Josh is long, can really defend, can score, can pass, and is a leader," shared Cardel with ESPN5 in Filipino.
The Terrafirma mentor said Munzon may be an incoming freshman, but the experience he gained playing in the Asean Basketball League, Thailand Basketball League, and local 3x3 leauge makes him a veteran in many ways.
"Josh is very vocal on the court and he's the type of rookie who I believe won't be playing like a rookie anymore because of his basketball experience. That (experience) would really come in handy for us," noted Cardel, talking about the top overall pick in the most recent PBA Draft.
The Dyip tactician also likes the fact that rookie big man Laput has been going all-out in practice.
"James is quick and runs like a six-foot guard. He's definitely improved a lot since I last saw him play for La Salle, definitely the type of player we need for the team," explained Cardel.
While the yardstick among big men is still six-time MVP June Mar Fajardo, Cardel is confident that the Fil-Aussie can do well once the season starts.
"At least, we have a 6-10 player who can defend the paint, who can alter shots," stressed Cardel. "Even if he doesn't jump and just raises his arms, he could surely alter some shots."
Aside from their prized rookies, the Dyip also expects 2019 top pick Roosevelt Adams to continue growing within the system, while seasoned pickups Matt Ganuelas-Rosser and Gelo Alolino and mainstays Eric Camson and Aldrech Ramos will serve as leaders.
"Our bench got deeper with Matt and Gelo coming in, plus we have veterans Eric and Aldrech who can mentor our rookies," he said.
Terrafirma is eager to bounce back in the upcoming season following a dismal 1-10 showing inside the 'bubble' in Clark, Pampanga.