Manila, Philippines – It was a feat Globalport took three conferences to achieve under coach Pido Jarencio, with a smashed diagram board probably a testament at how hard the Batang Pier fought to nail it down.
Globalport was without ace point guard Alex Cabagnot but it wasn’t to be denied. The Batang Pier went to Ronjay Buenafe and two prized rookies in turning back the Kia Sorento, 84-79, for its second victory in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
That allowed them to join Talk ‘N Text and Rain or Shine with a 2-2 win-loss record just below the leaders.
Cabagnot, logging 17 points per game, had a severe case of pharyngitis and sat out the game, leaving Buenafe and rookies Stanley Pringle and Anthony Semerad to take care of business.
A third-option gunner for Globalport, Buenafe unloaded 19 points with four 3-point shots while Pringle, the No. 1 draft pick, added 13 and Semerad 12, six coming in the fourth quarter where he showed no signs of the pummeling he got late in the first quarter from Kia’s Chad Alonzo.
The game only had four lead changes and four deadlocks but Globalport spent nearly all of 48 minutes trying to weather the storm before neophyte John Pinto, who had missed his first three triples, buried one from top-of-the-key to break a 69-all tie with 5:10 remaining. Kia never got the upper hand and fell to 1-3 at solo 10th place.
Jarencio, reportedly on his way out before Globalport earned its first win against Barako Bull earlier, had a big exhale after the game.
“Sa wakas naka-dalawa rin,” said the former Santo Tomas U star, who went 1-8 win-loss in each of his two conferences with Globalport last season. “Alam ko darating din ito para sa mga bata. Ayaw na namin nasa ilalim; nakakapagod din e.”
Just the same, the Batang Pier required some tough locker room persuasion from their coach to get serious after a sloppy first half as they trailed, 47-36, at the break.
Globalport used a 9-point run in the third quarter, where Buenafe had eight points, to seize the lead, 62-61, entering the last 12 minutes.
Asked whether reports were accurate he had smashed a white diagram board inside the dugout, Jarencio said sheepishly, “Medyo masakit nga tong kamay ko e. Kaya nga hihintayin ko na lang siguro yung bill.”
The absence of boxing icon Manny Pacquiao may have emboldened some players to show off their non-basketball moves.
With 48 seconds remaining in the first period and Kia on the way to a 19-13 lead, Alonzo, the former Adamson Falcon, planted three elbows to the head of Semerad as the ex-San Beda Red Lion lay prostrate on the floor after the two had tangled.
Semerad managed to sneak in two weak straights as they were being separated by the referees who slapped both with technicals. Alonzo, however, was caught on TV laughing and mimicking to a teammate the shots he dealt the Globalport rookie in what could be a more brazen act to PBA commissioner Chito Salud who summoned both players today.
Also facing possible sanctions are Kia’s Hans Thiele and Globalport’s Jewel Ponferada, who initiated an exchange at the baseline early in the fourth quarter with an elbow in the back of Thiele, who responded with a jab at the chest.
Meanwhile, the much-awaited clash between unbeaten leaders San Miguel Beer and Alaska gets going at 7 p.m. today following the 4:15 encounter featuring Meralco against NLEX, with the winner gaining bragging rights nearly halfway through the elimination.
The Beermen and the Aces are tied on 3-0 slates, while the Bolts and Road Warriors, coming off respective losses and tied behind the pacesetters along with Barangay Ginebra San Miguel on 2-1 cards, gun for solo third place.
GLOBALPORT 84 – Buenafe 19, Pringle 13, Semerad 12, Isip 10, De Ocampo 8, Ponferada 6, Jensen 5, Pinto 4, Taha 3, Romeo 2, Baclao 2, Caperal 0, Nabong 0.
KIA 79 – Thiele 19, Cervantes 15, Padilla 11, Jaime 9, Buensuceso 7, Raymundo 7, Alvarez 4, Dehesa 4, Lingganay 3, Revilla 0, Alonzo 0, Saldua 0, Pascual 0.
Quarterscores: 13-19, 36-47, 62-61, 84-79.
GINEBRA 100 – Baracael 19, Caguioa 18, Slaughter 10, Tenorio 8, Aguilar 8, Forrester 6, Mamaril 6, Yeo 6, Reyes 6, Helterbrand 5, Urbiztondo 3, Ellis 3, Brondial 2, Monfort 0.
BLACKWATER 91 – Artadi 21, Gamalinda 15, Erram 11, Faundo 10, Menor 7, Rodriguez 6, Cawaling 6, Timberlake 4, Nuyles 4, Laure 4, Ballesteros 3, Salvacion 0, Austria 0, Tiongson 0.
Quarterscores: 33-20, 59-43, 75-68, 100-91