IT’S unusual to see the names of Jeric Fortuna and Paolo Taha starting at backcourt in a PBA game.
But with dynamic duo Terrence Romeo and Stanley Pringle out with injuries on Saturday, GlobalPort had no choice but to trust the unusual duo against Alaska in their Commissioner’s Cup matchup at the Astrodome.
The Batang Pier clearly looked like a different team, but Fortuna and Taha repaid their coach’s faith by putting up solid showings that were just overshadowed by the 103-101 defeat.
In just his second game after being acquired in a trade with Phoenix, Fortuna registered 11 points, seven rebounds, six assists, and one block in 35 minutes.
“Syempre hindi naman natin gusto na may nai-injure na player,” Fortuna said after the game. “Pero basta pag binigyan lang ako ng chance, I’ll do my best lang kasi ito na yung opportunity eh, so hindi ko na sasayangin.”
Taha, for his part, has been stepping up even before the weekend game as he has scored at least nine points in his last three games, before putting up 11 points and missing a double-double by a rebound on top of two steals, two blocks, and one assist in 30 minutes against the Aces.
“Yung confidence ko tumataas na,” Taha said. “Nag-go-grow na ako as a player, may nangyayari na, so tine-take advantage ko lang lahat ng binibigay ng coaches sa akin. tine-treasure ko talaga every minute sa court.”
Together, the unusual backcourt tandem kept the Globalport offense flowing as they led most of the way.
But all of that went for naught after they wound up on the losing end – the Batang Pier’s fifth loss in seven games.
“Syempre yung team goal naman ay manalo,” Taha said. “Kahit anong ganda ng laro mo, hindi visible yun kasi talo pa rin yung result.”