WITH a retooled lineup, Globalport is eyeing no less than a semifinal finish in at least one of the three conferences in the 2014-2015 season of the PBA.
Team owner Mikee Romero had been hands on in forming this new breed of Batang Pier, who he believes are capable of posting winning records and good enough to reach the semifinals of any of the league’s three conferences.
“Siguro ‘yung forecast namin, we should land in the semifinals for the first time in our young PBA career this season,” said Romero during Tuesday’s Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum at Shakey’s Malate.
“We have three conferences to do it.”
The Batang Pier kick off their campaign in the season-opening Philippine Cup next Tuesday against new team NLEX, which took over the franchise of Air21.
Prior to the start of the Philippine Cup, the Batang Pier had a relatively busy offseason as they obtained highly-touted Stanley Pringle with the top overall pick in this year’s draft.
At the same time, they traded away veteran big man Jay Washington to get Nonoy Baclao and then added Jojo Duncil and Mark Isip to their roster.
Following the offseason movement, Romero is confident the franchise will finally stop the bleeding after registering losing seasons in its first two years in the pro league, something to which he is not accustomed.
“Hindi madali ang pinagdaanan namin. To say the least, hindi kami sanay doon,” said the good-looking team owner.
“From 2005 to 2011, we always won a championship in the PBL, SEA Games, Seaba, ABL. So it’s an unfamiliar territory. It’s part of the humbling experience being in the PBA dahil iba ang level dito,” said Romero.
The former De La Salle stalwart said the goal of the team coached by Pido Jarencio will still not be easy especially against the league’s traditional powers, stressing the Batang Pier have an average age of 25 years old.
Romero pointed out the team also has a veteran nucleus and will employ a run-and-gun style of play.
“Mahirap pa rin. We have six rookies in the team. But we like ‘yung palaban na word. Gusto namin takbuhan dahil sa youth and experience.
“I think we have a fighting chance. Lalaban na talaga kami. I think we’ve formed a team na from the first player to the 14th player, lalaban na ito,” he said.
GlobalPort alternate governor Erick Arejola said members of the team were handpicked by Romero himself.
“Talagang palaban. All 14 players were handpicked by management. Talagang palaban ‘yung attitude nila. At the same time, with the talent, umangat ‘yung level ng team. Ang makikita ng mga fans is a fast-paced GlobalPort team,” said Arejola.