THE Barracudas' captain Francis 'Kiko' Adriano believes the team need to work on their communication if they want to stand a chance at beating the KL Dragons in their next ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) match tomorrow.
Opening their ABL campaign with a 87-69 loss to the Singapore Slingers at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Sunday, the team representing Brunei in the regional league will be looking to bounce back when they face the Malaysians at the MABA Stadium in Kuala Lumpur.
The Barracudas only had two weeks of training with a complete roster, and after the defeat to 2008 Brunei Cup champions, Adriano knows just what the team should improve on.
"We did not have enough communication, especially on defence," he said in a telephone interview from Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
"We also need to play more aggressive and execute more on our plays.
"It was the first time we played against some real opposition so now we know what adjustments we have to make.
"We cannot promise to win the game (against the Dragons) but we will do our best," added the Filipino shooting guard.
Forced to take American forward Mike Pilgrim and Adriano out of the game due to foul trouble, the team's coach Bong Ramos said that their withdrawal made Sunday's very tough game the Slingers are one of the ABL's Big Three even harder.
Despite this Ramos was happy with what he saw and said that he was proud of the players the coach picking out Benjamin Lim and Esmond Tan for special praise.
Vice-captain Tan contributed seven points and six rebounds while Lim got on the scoreboard with three points.
"I think I did alright," said a nonchalant Tan yesterday.
"I think we have a better chance of beating the Dragons since the Slingers have been training together for quite a while and are tougher to beat.
"The team (Barracudas) have to improve on defence and make more passes to the low post," said the vice-captain when asked on what he had learnt from the Slingers' game.
Lim, on the other hand, was more interested in the team's commitment.
"It was a good thing to see the players all fighting until the end of the game," he said.
"The whole team did well against an established side and I am glad we kept the result close until the end of the third quarter. But I think our fitness is not up to level yet. We are not yet at our peak," added the shooting guard.
Pilgrim led the Barracudas with 16 points while guard Leo Avenido chipped in 15 points and eight rebounds in Singapore.
Centre Lonnie Jones scored 13 points and had five blocked shots.
The Barracudas are made up of American imports Jones and Pilgrim as well as the Filipino threesome of Adriano, Avenido and Don Camaso forming the team's starting five.
The imports are joined by local players Tan, Lim, Xavier Fong, Benjamin Sim and Presley Ho.
The rest of the Barracudas roster include Lim Aik Hock, Soon Kian Leong, siblings Hj Md Badri and Hj Md Rahmat Hj Suhaili, Jamri Ramlee and Muhd Mohzani Abd Ghani.
After their Kuala Lumpur date tomorrow, the Barracudas will again face the Dragons at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas on Oct 18, their first home game of the campaign.The Brunei Times
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
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