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PBA: Fast-sinking Batang Pier need to adjust

by Jonas Terrado

Globalport's Terrence Romeo  (MB photos | JAY GANZON)

Globalport’s Terrence Romeo (MB photos | JAY GANZON)

The Globalport Batang Pier are pressed to find the form that made them a playoff team last conference after losing their first four games in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup that included Saturday’s 118-113 loss to the Blackwater Elite at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Not even another explosive game by Terrence Romeo and a solid debut by new import Malcolm White prevented the Batang Pier from squandering a seven-point lead to start the fourth and eventually left as the one of two teams – the other being the NLEX Road Warriors – that have yet to win in the midseason conference.

Globalport coach Franz Pumaren said his team can’t afford to make mistake with seven games left, even as they try to familiarize themselves with White, who came in to replace the inconsistent Sean Williams and produced 33 points and 15 rebounds against the Elite.

“Not to make an alibi, but we still have to really make adjustments with a new import. I think we should start picking up our aggressiveness,” said Pumaren. “We’re not even a shade of our team last conference where we were considered in the top five or top six in terms of defense. Right now, we’re giving up too many points.”

The Batang Pier made the quarterfinals of the Philippine Cup with a 6-5 record, finishing sixth in points allowed with an average of 93.6 and fourth in field goals given at 40.5 percent. That complemented the offense which made 45 percent of its shots for 97.7 points per contest.

This conference, Globalport allowed all of its opponents to score at least 100 points, even if Romeo is back in his familiar role of providing the bulk of the offense after firing 35 points in the latest setback.

Romeo hit a career-high nine threes while joining Allan Caidic and Renren Ritualo as the only players to make at eight triples three times in their careers. But Pumaren said more help should be given to one of the league’s premier scorers.

“Of course that helped us, but at the end of the day, we still lost the game. It’s important that it should be a collective effort. It should be a team production in terms of not only points, but overall performance,” he said.

Globalport plays NLEX on Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, hoping to join the win column before the Holy Week break.

The Batang Pier return to action on April 21 against TNT KaTropa, followed by another game two days later against Mahindra.