Games Tomorrow (MOA Arena)
4:15 p.m. – Barako Bull vs NLEX
7 p.m – Alaska vs Barangay Ginebra
Manila, Philippines – Maybe it’s the frenetic style of their latest coach, the platoon substitution, the 2-2-1 zone press. Whichever, the new-look Globalport Batang Pier were anything but their old selves yesterday – except for the white-and-green jerseys which gave them away.
Terrence Romeo, coming off the bench with some playground stuff, poured 25 points and rookie Anthony Semerad hit 4 of 4 three-point shots to lead Globalport past discombobulated Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, 98-77, in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
With their fifth win in 10 games, the Batang Pier snapped a two-game losing streak while handing the Kings their third straight loss and fourth overall in nine outings.
Two other Globalport players were in double figures and the Batang Pier bench, kept fresh with clockwork substitution, hammered the Kings, 67 points to 33.
Former National University coach Eric Gonzales and one of Globalport’s assistants, stepped into the shoes vacated by Pido Jarencio, who was relieved of his head coaching job after their recent loss to San Miguel Beer, and immediately put together a game plan built around aggressiveness and patience that so confused the Kings who trailed by as many as 24 points in the third quarter.
“Nakita namin na medyo mahaba yung minutes nong mga key players so nag-platoon substitution kami to keep everybody fresh,” said Gonzales. “Nakita rin namin yung ginawang pressure defense ng Barako Bull sa Ginebra noon na kinapos lang, so medyo ginaya lang namin.”
Although admittedly inspired by Barako Bull’s near success against Ginebra and Meralco’s victory over the Kings, Gonzales, an assistant coach with Far Eastern U in the UAAP last season, added a dash of his own to the defensive mix – a 2-2-1 zone press that forced the Kings to go into attack mode prematurely before they can set up their triangle offense.
Greg Slaughter did have 21 points, 11 in the third quarter, and Japeth Aguilar 14, but the two Ginebra posts were held to nine points combined in the first half when the Batang Pier roared to a 52-31 spread at the half.
The winning margin was a franchise best for the ballclub owned by businessman Mikee Romero, who, Gonzales said, texted him that he will henceforth be calling the shots on an interim basis.
“Hindi ko po alam, sumusunod lang po ako sa instructions,” said Gonzales when asked if Globalport is still looking for a regular coach.
The way the Batang Pier kept coming at the Kings with defensive tenacity, holding them to 30 percent shooting (24 of 81), may have guaranteed Gonzales a lengthier stay at the helm however.
Jarencio took over from Ritchie Ticzon last season and now sits as team consultant.
Meanwhile, a minute of prayer was offered by the PBA before the game for ill-stricken former San Miguel superstar Samboy Lim who collapsed during a pickup game the other day and continues to be under observation at the Medical City in Pasig.
GLOBALPORT 98 – Romeo 25, Semerad 17, Cabagnot 15, Jensen 11, Pinto 5, Buenafe 5, De Ocampo 5, Baclao 4, Caperal 3, Ponferada 3, Pringle 2, Nabong 2, Isip 1, Taha 0.
GINEBRA 77 – Slaughter 21, Aguilar 14, Tenorio 11, Baracael 10, Yeo 6, Ellis 4, Caguioa 4, Mamaril 3, Helterbrand 2, Brondial 2, Monfort 0, Forrester 0, Urbiztondo 0, Reyes 0.
Quarters: 24-16, 52-31, 75-57, 98-77.