Llamados are favored
FUENTE: BUSINESS MIRROR
18 / MARZO / 2010
Written by Joel Orellana / Reporter
BEING called a “favorite” in the preseason feels somewhat weird for head coach Ryan Gregorio. After all, he and his squad have always been comfortable playing the role of underdogs.
But the pressure is on this time as management decided to change the squad’s name from Purefoods Tender Juicy Giants to B-MEG Derby Ace—with the moniker “Llamados”—for the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Fiesta Conference that starts this Sunday at the Araneta Coliseum.
Fresh from an amazing four-game sweep of Alaska in the Philippine Cup finals, Gregorio promised to carry the same attitude and motivation despite a change in team name for the season-ending conference.
“I’m not really familiar with the cockfight lingo and I’ve never set foot on a cockpit in my life,” said Gregorio in the press launch of the new team name that is one of the 10 food businesses under the San Miguel Purefoods Co. Inc. (SMPFC)
“And I’m always dehado in most of my coaching career but now, we will be called Llamados. We will manage our expectations and if it will take blood to do it, we will definitely do it to make it happen,” he added.
“The moniker ‘Llamados’ in itself also carries a badge of expectations which I am sure my players would be very enthusiastic about. In this line, we pledge anew to make San Miguel Foods Inc. and our many fans to play our best and with our hearts out in every game. We will be your llamados through and through,” Gregorio said.
Gracing the team’s relaunch was SMPFC president Butch Alejo III, board representative Rene Pardo and team manager Alvin Patrimonio. The players, except for Rafi Reavis, and members of the coaching staff were also present in the event.
The B-MEG Derby Ace is a gamefowl-feed brand which has been in the business since 1997 and management, headed by Alejo, thought of bringing the brand name in the oldest professional basketball league in Asia as it will help them in creating brand awareness.
“We believe that we already have a quality product here and what we need now is to promote it,” said Alejo on Wednesday at the A. Venue Hall in Makati City.
“And I think the PBA is a good vehicle to promote the brand because what we need now is to compete aggressively in the gamefowl-feed industry,” he added.
Changing brand name is nothing new to the franchise. Since joining the league in 1988, the team has been called Purefoods Tender Juicy Hotdogs, Coney Island Ice Cream Stars, Purefoods Oodles, Purefoods Chunkee Giants and Purefoods TJ Giants in 2007.
And every time the team made a change in brand name, the team was able to capture a PBA title. “Hopefully, it will continue,” said Pardo.
“I assure our long-time supporters will continue to support the team and we promise to play our best and win their hearts in every game,” said Patrimonio, who led the franchise to six titles.
“Our combined skills, intense training and incessant passion to win for our fans will ultimately lead us to another victory this year,” added Patrimonio, one of the two PBA players to win four Most Valuable Player (MVP) trophies, the other Ramon Fernandez.
The Llamados begin training on March 22 and will debut on April 4. The team is on final negotiation with Lorenzo Wade as its import for the Fiesta Cup.
“We expect the Derby Ace Llamados to carry on the winning tradition of the TJ Giants Team. And being one of our flagship brands, we hope it delivers the message to our customers that San Miguel Pure Foods always produces high-quality and affordable products, from farm to plate, 24 hours a day, and will do so in many years to come.”
The Giants core remains intact and Gregorio can expect James Yap to again deliver big numbers while getting the needed support from Paul Artadi, PJ Simon, Chris Timberlake, Roger Yap, Jonathan Fernandez, Jondan Salvador, Nino Canaleta, Rafi Reavis, Don Allado, Marc Pingris, Romel Adducul and Kerby Raymundo.
“Siyempre sa umpisa maninibago kami kasi new name for the team but we promise to our fans na we will always give our best effort each game,” said Yap, the Best Player of the Conference of the Philippines and Finals MVP.