by Ernest Hernandez
NorthPort Batang Pier is currently making waves with a 5-1 start in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup despite injuries to key players. Head coach Pido Jarencio gave due credit to his players following their recent win over PBA Philippine Cup runner-up Magnolia Hotshots.
“Players didn’t give up,” said Jarencio.
“Even si Prince Ibeh was four fouls per ayaw niya palabas, nandoon pa rin siya,” he adds. “Alam mo yung willingness and desire nandoon—iyan ang importante sa team ngayon We are not giving up, we are limiting teams kahit papaano. Basta kami ang goal namin is dumating sa playoffs.”
In the victory, Jarencio used only nine of his players. For him, having a short rotation is only effective if the players he put in are willing to step up.
“Effective in a sense na yung player nagi-step up. Kung maliit ang rotation mo pero ang players hindi nag-step up, problema pa rin,” stressed Jarencio. “Ang maganda, short rotation, yung players nagde-deliver, they are doing their share. Hindi isa o dalawang tao kundi lahat tumutulong, iyon ang importante. “
Seven of the nine players that Jarencio fielded against Magnolia finished with a double-digit performance. More so, Jarencio was happy to see players rising to the occasion especially when the Hotshots made a late run in the fourth period.
“Like si (Paolo) Taha, making that three-point shot, diba, ang bigat noon, kapapasok lang din niya,” cited Jarencio.
“Yung ibang players nag-step up kaya short rotation maganda as long as yung playes nagde-deliver,” he adds. “Pero kung short rotation ka tapos hindi nagde-deliver, ang susunod na hahanapin mo, nasaan yung ibang player, maghahanap ka eh.”
For Sean Anthony, he sees more success in the team by being consistent in all 48 minutes of the game. The mature decision making to keep teams at bay when they have the lead.
“Last conference we played well for 36 minutes. Every single game we’ve had a double-digit lead and we would always lose that lead in the fourth quarter,” Anthony pointed out.
“It kinda looked a bit like that, at the end, we were up 13 with less than six minutes and Magnolia made a great run,” he adds. “But at least we kept our composure – we executed and we did the things necessary to pull out stops. That’s our growth is basically to close out games with those leads now.”
Surprisingly, the team is without leading scorer Stanley Pringle. Having him back soon would mean a lot for the team.
“Stanley is the most explosive scorer in the league and he’s a leader and a huge part of our team,” said Anthony. “He’s going to make us better and we just want to get him at a 100-percent. We don’t want him to come back early and aggravate it again. We just want him to take his time to fully recover.”
Stepping up for Pringle is rookie Robert Bolick who seems to be maturing quickly in the PBA.
“Robert Bolick has been stepping up in the absence of Stanley Pringle, being a stabilizer on offense,” credited Anthony.