DESPITE another early playoff exit, GlobalPort would rather stick to the positives.
BJ Manalo, the newly-appointed head of basketball operations of the Batang Pier, stressed the team still made progress in the season-opening PBA Philippine Cup despite the series of personnel changes the franchise went through starting with its coaching staff under interim Eric Gonzales.
“May highlights din naman ang team this conferences kaya kami, we would rather stick to the positives na nangyari,” he said.
The campaign of the Batang Pier came to an abrupt end Friday after they were ousted by Barangay Ginebra Kings, 95-78, in the opening round of the playoffs at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.
Manalo said he has called a meeting with the team’s entire coaching staff to evaluate everything that had happened in the team’s recent campaign, while also mapping out the Batang Pier’s steps for the next two conferences this season.
“We just have to keep improving our system kaya mag-evaluate kami by next Monday kasama lahat ng coaching staff with coach Eric and coach Pido (Jarencio) para malaman namin what to improve on for the next conference,” Manalo told Spin.ph.
Manalo also declined to talk about the team’s sudden decision to trade veteran playmaker Alex Cabagnot, who was shipped back to San Miguel Beer in exchange for Solomon Mercado in just a matter of 10 months.
Although Mercado used to be Globalport’s heart and soul, the 6-foot-1 combo guard was at a loss under Gonzales’ system, considering he only had one day to get acquainted with the team’s plays.
The 30-year-old still managed to score nine points, grab four rebounds, and issue three assists in a 22-minute stint, while letting the team’s young stars Stanley Pringle and Terrence Romeo carry much of the scoring load.
The team will take a 12-day break before resuming practice a day after Christmas Day to prepare for the Commissioner’s Cup, which is set to start on January 28.
For the moment, the soft-spoken Globalport executive is still going through a long list of import prospects, though they intend to a tap an NBA veteran, who can provide the defensive presence, hustle, and inside scoring threat.