Globalport finds sense of stability, thrashes Blackwater
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Just when things were becoming too shaky for comfort, the Globalport Batang Pier righted the ship for now with an 87-72 pummeling of expansion team Blackwater Elite in the 2015 PBA Philippine Cup Sunday, November 9 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Batang Pier notched back-to-back wins this week after overcoming the other expansion team KIA Sorento 84-79 last Tuesday, November 4.
"Actually it's a total team effort," said head coach Pido Jarencio, whose win went down as the biggest winning margin of the young franchise which joined the PBA in 2012, per PBA Head Statistician Fidel Mangonon III.
Ronjay Buenafe had his second consecutive double-figure output with a game-high 17 points. Rookie Anthony Semerad, whom Globalport drafted 7th overall, had a career-high 16 points on 6-of-7 field goals.
Globalport restored order and stability with the return of team captain and veteran guard Alex Cabagnot. He missed the last game against KIA due to flu.
"(Dahil sa) pagbalik ni Alex from sakit nagkaroon ng flow yung offense namin and maganda rin depensa niya," Jarencio said. (Because of Alex's return our offense had some flow and he played good defense.)
Cabagnot flirted with a triple-double in his return with 9 points, 11 rebounds, and 9 assists.
Keith Jensen and Stanley Pringle added 14 points apiece for the Batang Pier which out-rebounded Blackwater, 51-39.
Winning his third game so far in the conference, Jarencio also surpassed the two wins he had last season when he first took over as head coach from the 2014 Commissioner's Cup.
At the same time, Jarencio managed to keep his job safe for the meantime after reports swirled that a coaching change may occur.
Team owner Mikee Romero previously bared that he's giving Jarencio a chance to prove himself and that the coach is under constant evaluation.
"Andito na kasi yung right personnel and right players," Jarencio said. "Wala naman kaming pupuntahan kung 'di pataas dahil galing na kami sa baba. Nothing to lose na tayo rito."
(We already have the right personnel and right players. We have nowhere to go but up because we already came from the bottom. We have nothing to lose now.)
The Batang Pier felt their way in the game early, allowing the Elite to hold the edge, 20-16, late in the first. But with Cabagnot stabilizing the team and orchestrating plays on both sides of the ball, Globalport took a 45-40 halftime advantage.
Jarencio's wards broke the game wide open in the third as they outscored Blackwater 25-13 to take a 70-45 edge heading into the fourth.
Globalport erected its biggest lead at 24, 84-60, early in the fourth and snuffed the life out of Blackwater, which remains winless at 0-5.
"Nagkaroon lang ng kumpiyansa na kaya pala manalo ng sunod-sunod," Jarencio explained. (They just built some confidence and believed they could win back-to-back.)
He said the wins, though against the league's newcomers, still mean something.
"Huwag natin sabihin na dahil lang expansion team (kaya kami nanalo). Marunong rin mag-basketball ang mga yan."
"I think because of our defense kaya kami nanalo kasi 70+ lang sila eh. Ang target is ma-stop namin teams to just 80 points and below," he added.
(Let's not say that we won just because they are expansion teams. They also know how to play basketball. I think we won because of our defense since they only finished with 70+ points. Our target is to stop teams to just 80 points and below.)
Globalport won by a comfortable margin without sophomore scorer Terrence Romeo, who was sidelined due to a throat infection.
Romeo was also a non-factor in Globalport's win over KIA as he scored just two points on a horrible one-of-12 shooting night.
Jarencio said he expects Romeo to report back to practice on Monday, November 10. The former UAAP Most Valuable Player will likely play on Wednesday, November 12 when the Batang Pier takes on Rain or Shine.
"Sana tuloy-tuloy na 'to na magkaroon ng kumpiyansa yung players and maging fluid ang takbo namin," Jarencio said. (I hope this continues and the players continue to build confidence and our system becomes more fluid.)
Meanwhile, Blackwater was led by Bryan Faundo's career-high 16 points and Bambam Gamalinda's 15 markers.
Paul Artadi and Sunday Salvacion added 11 and 10 points, respectively.
The team failed to respond to head coach Leo Isaac's call to shed their doubts and fears. Isaac resorted to drastic measures following Blackwater's previous loss to Ginebra, challenging his players to prove their worth and show the Elite they did not make a mistake in giving the players a second chance.
GLOBALPORT (87): Buenafe 17, Semerad 16, Pringle 14, Jensen 14, Cabagnot 9, Isip 8, Baclao 3, Caperal 2, Ponferada 2, De Ocampo 2, Pinto 0, Taha 0, Nabong 0.
BLACKWATER (72): Faundo 16, Gamalinda 15, Artadi 11, Salvacion 10, Erram 6, Rodriguez 6, Laure 5, Ballesteros 2, Nuyles 1, Timberlake 0, Tiongson 0, Menor 0, Cawaling 0, Austria 0.
Quarterscores: 19-20, 45-40, 70-53, 87-72.
Here are photos of the game taken by Nuki Sabio/PBA Images