MANILA, Philippines -- Armed with more experience and featuring a new name, the Terra Firma Dyip enter the PBA bubble with high hopes that they can make an impact and go on a strong run.
The Dyip missed out on the playoffs in all three conferences last season, and only managed a 4-7 record in the 2019 All-Filipino Cup. But the team showed plenty of promise, thanks in large part to the sensational play of Rookie of the Year CJ Perez.
"We've been looking forward really to the resumption of the games," said Bobby Rosales, Terra Firma's team governor and representative to the Board. "We've been practicing even online before we were allowed to get together for the conditioning sessions."
"I'd like to believe that we have a better line-up this time than our previous teams," he added.
Perez, who made it to the Mythical Team at the end of his freshman season in the league, is expected to play at an even higher level this time around. He will have more help as well, with the Dyip adding rookie Roosevelt Adams from the draft.
Players such as Rashawn McCarthy and JP Calvo are also tasked to step up in the conference, which will take place in a bubble in Clark, Pampanga starting on October 11.
With the lessons from last season's run still in the minds of the players, Rosales is hopeful that this time around, they can pull off some surprises.
"I'm hoping and optimistic that we'll be able to be more competitive this time," he said.
Head coach Johnedel Cardel said in a recent appearance on "The Chasedown" that their players are very excited for the resumption of the league. Terra Firma was among the teams that did not get to play before the PBA suspended all activities due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
"Siyempre sila, gustong-gusto nilang maglaro," Cardel said of the Dyip. "Dedicated naman sila sa kung anong dapat naming gawin before magkakalaro kami."
Terra Firma, along with the rest of the PBA teams, are now in the bubble in Clark, where they are isolating for 24 to 48 hours while waiting for the results of their swab tests.
Scrimmages are set to be held in the coming week.
As excited and hopeful as they are for the upcoming conference, Cardel also acknowledged that it will be a difficult campaign as the team -- and the league -- competes in an unusual situation.
"Sacrifice talaga 'yung pagpunta namin doon," he said. "And I think all my players naman, they're willing naman na, kahit tumagal sila doon, na makapaglaro na ng basketball at makapagbigay ng entertainment sa mga nanonood sa atin sa PBA."
"I think we're ready for that, and my players are ready for that," he said.