IN a rare display of emotion in public, team owner Mikee Romero vowed GlobalPort will give Alaska a good fight in their Smart Bro-PBA Philippine Cup semifinals showdown, referring to the Batang Pier as the David in the best-of-seven series.
Romero poured his heart out in an emotional message posted on his Facebook account (Mikee L. Romero) hours before Game One gets underway at the Mall of Asia Arena, which the young executive has vowed to personally watch from ringside.
The Batang Pier are in their first ever trip to the semifinals following a dramatic 84-83 overtime win over fancied Barangay Ginebra Kings in their knockout match two days after Christmas.
And as daunting as the task of upending the top seeded Aces is, Romero said the team will not simply roll over and die.
“For every Goliath, there will always be a DAVID. GLOBALPORT will die in the court as DAVID. LABAN NATO!!!,” he said in his message.
The young ballclub owner was in Europe when the Batang Pier achieved the biggest win yet in the history of the three-year franchise.
He admitted finding it a little bit silly when tears flowed through his eyes the moment basketball operations chief and top aide Eric Arejola informed him about the gigantic upset pulled off by GlobalPort in the ongoing playoffs of the all-Filipino conference.
“I must have looked very stupid, but GP Batang Pier is like my own child which I raised, nourished, and motivated to become what it is now,” he said.
Romero also detailed in the account his frustration of initially failing to duplicate in the pro league the success GlobalPort had as an amateur ballclub, when it won seven straight championships in the defunct Philippine Basketball League (PBL) and as inaugural champions of the Asean Basketball League (ABL), while ruling the Southeast Asian Games and South East Asian Basketball (SEABA) Championship behind teams backstopped by the organization.
But as he learned, ‘In the PBA, patience is a real virtue.’
After losing a twice-to-beat-edge against Tim Cone and Star in the last Governors Cup, Romero said he thought of tapping the services of players who had the playoff experience for the team’s campaign in the league’s 41st season.
The recruitment spree netted the Batang Pier the likes of Jay Washington, Joseph Yeo, Rico Maierhoffer, Dorian Pena, and Jonathan Uyloan, personnel who he believes would complement the team’s dynamic duo of Stanley Pringle and Terrence Romeo.
“Our preparation and recruitment paid off. Stanley and Terrence are in the best form, taking over each and every game,” noted Romero. “This team and the NEON NATION is very, very hungry to fight and to win each and every game.
“So from where we were two years ago to the PBA semifinals today, the journey seems to be very emotional for me, but in every bit worth it.”