GLOBALPORT hopes to finally fire on all cylinders with the acquisition of a former Piston as the Batang Pier try to arrest a four-game skid when it takes on bottom squad Air21 on Sunday in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Walter Sharpe, who suited up for the Detroit Pistons in the 2008-2009 season, has been tapped as replacement for Justin Williams, a high-leaping rebounding machine who unfortunately lacked offensive weapons.
Now the Batang Pier, who have lost their last four outings including Friday’s 95-103 defeat to Rain or Shine that put them near the bottom of the standings with a 2-5 win-loss card, feel they have better scoring options to match up the Express in their 4:15 p.m. contest.
“Hopefully he can give us the boost we need. For one, this man won’t stand there in the shaded area anymore because he has a three-point shot. His range is long so he’ll provide an outside scoring,” Globalport coach Junel Baculi told Spin.ph after the team’s practice on Saturday at the Moro Lorenzo gym.
Globalport needs Sharpe, a University of Alabama-Birmingham product, to be more offensive-minded and help carry more of the scoring load than his predecessor.
Williams averaged 14.6 points, 19.3 rebounds and 4.6 blocks in 38 minutes of play for the Batang Pier. But he had a rather forgettable ending with the Batang Pier on Friday after logging in just five points, 10 rebounds and blocks.
He only played the first five minutes of the third period and was benched from thereon.
Baculi said he’s got no problem with Williams’ attitude, though the 6-foot-9 import’s style doesn’t complement the Batang Pier’s local talent.
“Justin’s a good guy. He’s hardworking and he plays tenacious defense even though he doesn’t get the ball. But that’s life in the PBA. Imports should score at least 20 points for you to win. Si (Air21 import Michael) Dunigan nga eh naka-40 points di pa nanalo. That’s the intricacies in the PBA,” explained Baculi.
Air21 has lost its last five games, since opening the conference with a 74-70 win over Barangay Ginebra.
Michael Dunigan will again lead the Express, who are coming off a heartbreaking 88-89 loss to the Meralco Bolts on Wednesday despite the import’s 40-point-16-rebound performance.