The new representative of the Criollos promises that there will be basketball in Caguas for many years

After buying the last shares he had left Roberto Rocca In the franchise, John Herrero and Rick Elias A few weeks ago they became majority owners in Cagua Creolewho has not played in National Senior Basketball (BSN) since 2009.

Herrero and Elias are former high school basketball players in Puerto Rico, where they faced Roca when he was a student at Marist.

Currently, Herrero, who will represent the team before the BSN Board of Directors as a representative, is a real estate broker and Elias is the CEO of multinational company Red Ventures. After years away from the sport that formed their friendship when they were just 7 years old, the two businessmen chose to return to basketball, but in a managerial role.

With the transfer of the Grises from Humacao to Caguas, Herrero and Elias became the majority shareholders. But at the beginning of September they chose to buy the rest of the shares in search of developing the franchise with complete independence.

“We wanted to have a more independent opportunity so we could create a structure with our own vision,” Herrero said of purchasing Criollos in an interview. First hour.

Herrero explained that the decision to move the team to Caguas was due to the location of the arena, its structures and its history.

“Traditionally, Caguas has always been a sports arena. The Criollos in the Winter Baseball League won several championships, as did the Criollos in volleyball.” Caguas, despite only winning one championship in the BSN, has always had a very loyal and fervent fan base, As they say on the street,” commented the manager.

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The Criollos de Caguas, founded in 1969, won their first and only championship in 2006. Point guard Filiberto Rivera was the most valuable player in the final. (Ramon Tonito Zayas)

“Caguas has transit facilities that allow us to bring not only Caguinos, but also people from neighboring towns, and although we will be starting in a smaller area, plans to move to the larger area within two years are still in the works. “It is smooth sailing,” he added. .

The Criollos will return to BSN at Roger Mendoza Stadium, which will feature a new field, four air conditioning units, a sound system, bleachers in certain areas and a lighting system. In addition, they are redesigning the locker rooms, bathrooms and cafeterias.

It should be noted that this step was accompanied by financial support from the municipality worth $300,000.

According to Herrero, work on Roger Mendoza Stadium is scheduled to be completed before the start of the next Women’s Volleyball Premier League season, and 50 percent of the renovation work has already been completed. They will play there while working on the reconstruction and renovation of the Hector Sola Pisaris Coliseum, which aims to be ready in 2026.

For his part, the new coach of the Creole team added that they will try to emulate the Gigantes de Carolina team, which returned to BSN in 2021 and won the title in 2023. Therefore, their goal in the next tournament will be to create a complete team. The foundation around which one can build to one day return to the top of the league.

“They (the Giants) have written a blueprint for success that many of us want to emulate in a certain way and get the same result. Right now, we’re not motivated by the championship, that’s the goal. We’re motivated by putting together a competitive team and giving the fans a good experience with safety and good service at Canteens, a “show” before and during the match, professional treatment of our players, and a good show.” Mobin.

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“(We want to) create a very solid foundation that we can build on. “We have been here a long time and we bring a lot of patience and discipline,” he added.

Herrero revealed that after completing the purchase of the Creoles, he traveled with Elias to Mexico to speak with the Caguas leader, Wilhelmus Kaninis in Veracruz as a technical assistant for Halcones de Xalapa, a team managed by his brother Alanz Colon in the National Professional Basketball League.

“We spent two days meeting, talking about philosophy and presenting our work. We have constant communication with him and his assistant Jorge Rincon,” he confirmed.

With reinforcements at the highest level, he competed in the last tournament, such as DeMarcus Cousins, Brandon Knight, and Hassan WhitesideHerrero said he has connections in the United States that will give him access to a bank of the best talent available in North America.

“We’re not necessarily looking for former NBA players or college players. For us, it simply has to be the best talent available and we won’t skimp on that, as long as it falls into the culture and philosophy that we want to establish at Creole,” he said. “You will bring it.”

Caguas will have three reinforcements next season.

On the other hand, the actor informed this newspaper that next week they will unveil the new Creole logo.

Myrtle Frost

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