HAVING a familiar face on the sidelines is making it easy for Dominique Sutton to fit in at GlobalPort.
The Batang Pier import is glad to have coach Franz Pumaren around once again after playing under the former Air21 mentor in his first stint as reinforcement in the PBA in the 2014 Governors’ Cup.
“It’s not hard to adjust,” Sutton said on Thursday after their tune-up game against Ginebra. “It’s just about coming in and being ready to play. Coach Franz knows my style of play. He knows what I can bring to the table, and it’s my job to get better.”
“At the end of the day, everybody’s going to look at the import to carry the team, so I’m mentally ready for it,” he added. “I know what to expect already, and we’re going to see what happens.”
Pumaren, hired as Batang Pier consultant last month, is taking an active role on the bench with the team yet to name a new coach after Pido Jarencio was promoted to head of basketball of operations.
Pumaren, whose position as Adamson coach prohibits him from acepting the same designation at GlobalPort, called the shots in the Batang Pier’s 97-96 win over the Gin Kings at CCF gym in Pasig, drawing the game-winning play that saw Stanley Pringle score on a drive over three defenders with 1.5 seconds left.
Sutton also made his charities at crunch time to spell a difference in the come-from-behind win.
“I made free throws when it counted,” said the 6-foot-5 wingman, who shot a dismal 52.9 percent from the charity stripe in nine games for the Express two years ago. “I was struggling from the free-throw line for what reason. I don’t know why.”
“But like what I said, mentally, I wasn’t in the right position,” he added. “But right now, I’m more calm, more confident, and I’ll continue to grow and get better.”
“I’m a very different player,” the 29-year-old cager continued. “I’ve gotten better individually. I wasn’t in a good vibe mentally at that time (compared) to now and I continue to work on my game and craft.”