James Forrester says D-League stint not a demotion but 'a chance to get better'
PBA journeyman James Forrester plays for Batangas on loan from GlobalPort in the D-League. Jaime Campos

JAMES Forrester doesn't look at his stint for Batangas in the PBA D-League Foundation Cup as a demotion or a form of disrespect.

Instead, the athletic wingman, on-loan from GlobalPort, considers this an opportunity to sharpen his game ahead of the new conference in the PBA where he continues to strive to fullfill his potential after being drafted fourth overall by Ginebra in the 2013 rookie draft.

"It’s an opportunity to play, an opportunity to better myself and focus on the things I need to work on," he said after Batagas fell to Cignal, 66-70. "It’s not really a redemption thing. It’s all part of the process and for me trying to grow."

Contrary to perception, Forrester's stint with Batangas doesn't mean he will no longer be part of Batang Pier's roster for the PBA Governors' Cup which unfolds on July 19.

The former Arellano star bared he will only play two games in the D-League for Batangas, which by the way is coached by GlobalPort assistant Eric Gonzales, before rejoining the Batang Pier's campaign in the season-ending conference.

And he plans to make the most out of it.

"The way I see it, it’s getting ready for the conference," he said. "I’m still part of Global and of all the players on Global, for coach Eric to bring me down, I didn’t see it as any kind of disrespect. I see it that he’s always looking for my best interest and his way of helping me to get some games in."

"I haven’t seen much playing time in the last four years so getting any kind of games in, any kind of minutes, is only a positive thing," he added.

[See Six stops and four trades later, Forrester still yearning for a PBA team he can call home]

The high-leaping wingman, who has played for six teams in four seasons in the PBA, was in line for a perfect D-League debut after he nailed a floater that gave Batangas a 66-65 lead with under two minutes left.

But clutch baskets by Harold Arboleda and Oping Sumalinog in the final minute denied Batangas of a famous win.

As one of the leaders of the young team, Forrester took the blame and vowed to be better when Batangas faces Tanduay next week.

"Unfortunately, today I felt I lost the game for them, but I just want to bounce back next game and hopefully, get them a win," he said.


"Today, I didn’t realize how much I have to be a leader for this team. I haven’t been in this position for a while, so I have to lead this team, offensively, defensively, and leadership-wise, be vocal with the guys. Today was a little bit off, but hopefully, I’ll bawi next game."

[See 'Perfect basketball specimen' Forrester only needs to unload mental baggage, says coach]

Follow the writer on Twitter: @janbballesteros