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    GlobalPort has one final shot at quarterfinal berth - and Pumaren vows to make it count

    Jun 2, 2017
    Franz Pumaren and GlobalPort have one more shot at a quarterfinal berth. Jerome Ascano

    GLOBALPORT’s 112-101 loss to San Miguel on Friday night denied the team of an outright quarterfinal berth in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.

    If it's any consolation, the Batang Pier are not totally out of it.

    The Batang Pier are certain to figure in a playoff for the eighth and last spot in the next round after finishing tied with the Alaska Aces and the Phoenix Fuel Masters on similar 4-7 records at the end of the eliminations.

    Coach Franz Pumaren said he doesn't feel too bad about the blown opportunity considering people had already written off GlobalPort when it stumbled to a 2-6 record heading into the homestretch of the elims.

    “I like where we are right now. There’s chance for us to go to the next level,” said Pumaren. “Last month everybody was thinking already that we're not gonna be in this kind of situation.”

    [See SMB secures twice-to-beat spot, leaves GlobalPort in do-or-die playoff]

    The franchise turned its fortune around by trading for Sean Anthony and Bradwyn Guinto in a deal that also involved NLEX and TnT Katropa. It also let go of import Malcolm White for NBA veteran Justine Harper.

    The pair of moves immediately produced results for the Batang Pier as they brought down two playoff-bound teams in Meralco and Rain or Shine.

    For a while, the Batang Pier stayed close to San Miguel, coming back from as much as a 16-point second quarter deficit to just trail by five entering the fourth period. But the Beermen rode on the broad shoulders of import Charles Rhodes in the final quarter to take the fight out of the Batang Pier.

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    “We just couldn’t make some stops. I think that’s why they are the all-Filipino champions because they have a very good (core),”he stressed. “It’s just unfortunate that we made some mental mistakes.”

    With one more shot at gaining a berth to the quarterfinals, Pumaren said the Batang Pier need to be ready for the game whoever their opponents will be.

    “We just have to win on Sunday. I don’t see using (the reason) that we’re tired as an alibi,” said the GlobalPort coach. “What’s important is that we have to survive Sunday’s game.”

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    Franz Pumaren and GlobalPort have one more shot at a quarterfinal berth. Jerome Ascano
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