By JONAS TERRADO
NorthPort coach Pido Jarencio lashed back at critics after his decision to take out Greg Slaughter during the final play of his team’s heartbreaking 90-89 loss to Magnolia Pambansang Manok.
Jarencio took the chance of appearing in a postgame interview following the Batang Pier’s 91-88 overtime win Sunday, Sept. 19 to defend himself after fans took to social media to express dismay over the move to replace Slaughter with Sidney Onwubere.
The 7-foot Slaughter was replaced by a smaller Sidney Onwubere to play the role of defending the inbound pass of Hotshots guard Rome dela Rosa with 2.6 seconds to go and NorthPort up by a point.
With Slaughter not on the floor, Dela Rosa got a clear view of the situation and was able to find a cutting Calvin Abueva near the basket for the buzzer-beating shot over Onwubere and Kevin Ferrer.
“Sa mga bashers ko at sa mga haters ko, kung anu-anu pinagsasabi niyo sa akin,” said Jarencio. “I’ve played for 17 years and I’ve coached for 12 years at never akong nainvolve sa anu mang anomalya.
“Kaya kayong mga haters ko, sa mga bashers ko, bahala na ang Diyos sa inyo. I love you all, okay? To the original fans of basketball, you know you understand basketball,” Jarencio added.
Jarencio acknowledged that he was apologetic to Slaughter after the Magnolia loss, but added that they were able to patch up any issues surrounding the final play.
Unlike the previous game, NorthPort was able to make a stop against Rain or Shine during the final seconds of the extension, this time with Jarencio inserting Slaughter to guard inbounder Gabe Norwood with about two seconds on the clock.
Rain or Shine went for a give-and-go play, with Norwood quickly receiving the ball back for a potential corner three. But Slaughter stayed with his man and was able to make a game-clinching block at the buzzer.
“I was very upset that we lost just like any other loss and very happy when we won, just like any other win,” said Slaughter.