PBA Philippine Cup

Pido Jarencio clears name from controversy as NorthPort gets back on track

Delfin Dioquino
Pido Jarencio clears name from controversy as NorthPort gets back on track

BURY THE HATCHET. NorthPort head coach Pido Jarencio says he has patched things up with Greg Slaughter.

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NorthPort head coach Pido Jarencio says he has never been involved in anything anomalous after drawing flak for a questionable substitution in a sorry loss to Magnolia

NorthPort coach Pido Jarencio admitted his fault in their controversial loss to Magnolia but cleared his name from shady dealings as the team rediscovered its winning ways in the PBA Philippine Cup.

Jarencio found himself in hot water and even got accused of game-fixing by fans as NorthPort absorbed a heartbreaking 89-90 loss to Magnolia on Friday, September 17, no thanks to a Calvin Abueva game-winner.

During that game, Jarencio opted to sit Greg Slaughter out for the final play, which ended with Abueva sinking the go-ahead layup.

Fans raised their eyebrows on the substitution as Jarencio replaced the seven-foot Slaughter with a smaller Sidney Onwubere.

“I played for 17 years, I’ve coached for 12 years, I’ve never been involved in anything anomalous,” Jarencio said in a mix of Filipino and English after NorthPort edged Rain or Shine in overtime, 91-88, on Sunday, September 19.

“To all my haters and bashers, God will take care of you. I love you all.”

Jarencio said he apologized to the team and buried the hatchet with Slaughter, who was visibly upset after being benched against Magnolia.

With Jarencio deciding to keep Slaughter in the endgame against Rain or Shine, the big man delivered as he blocked the potential game-tying three-pointer of Gabe Norwood.

Slaughter earned Best Player of the Game honors after a monster performance of 25 points, 11 rebounds, and 6 blocks.

“[I]’m very apologetic to Greg and to the rest of the team. We patched up things, we’re here to work, we are professionals,” Jarencio said.

“This is for our staff, for everyone who believe in us, for the true NorthPort fans, and for the true PBA fans.”

Jarencio also relished the experience of finally notching a win with Slaughter, whom the team acquired in exchange of Christian Standhardinger in an offseason trade.

Slaughter was sidelined when NorthPort nailed its first victory in July, while Jarencio was out when the team clinched three straight wins after he contracted the coronavirus.

“I’m so happy tonight because this is the first time me and Greg won together,” Jarencio said.

At an even 5-5, NorthPort has to win its last elimination round game against Alaska to secure its place in the quarterfinals. – Rappler.com

Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.