AFTER seeing GlobalPort compile an impressive record in the preseason, coach Pido Jarencio said he hopes the Batang Pier can carry the newfound 'winning attitude' into the PBA’s 40th season which opens this Sunday at the Philippine Arena in Bulacan.
The Batang Pier, who won just two of 16 games in Jarencio's first two conferences as coach, went 7-3 (win-loss) in preseason games which they topped off with a 88-78 victory over powerhouse squad Talk ‘N Text in a PBA Liga ng Bayan game in Legazpi City on Sunday.
“Ibang usapan na kapag nag-start na ang season. Maganda nga ang pinakikita mo sa preseason, tapos pangit sa regular season, wala din. Sana madala namin yung na-gain naming experience and winning attitude pag totohanan na ang laban,” Jarencio said upon the team's arrival in Manila on Monday afternoon.
However, the outspoken former University of Santo Tomas coach didn’t deny the fact that the team’s busy offseason movement has finally given the Batang Pier enough personnel to challenge the league’s perennial top contenders.
“We’re ready. I think we have the materials to compete, especially here in the Philippine Cup. We have the tools to play against the top contenders,” he added.
Highlighting the Batang Pier’s roster upgrade during the offseason was the acquisition of top rookie pick Stanley Pringle, the 6-1 Fil-American guard who has made quite an impression in tune-up games.
The 6-1 Pringle has also played well with sophomore guard Terrence Romeo and veteran Alex Cabagnot, although Jarencio was quick to insist there's more to GlobalPort than its explosive backcourt.
“Malaki naman ang tiwala ko sa mga players ko eh. May gusto silang marating, and of course, maka-playoff ang gusto ng mga yan,” he said.
“Tingnan na lang natin. Basta itong team namin ngayon, palaban 'yan,” vowed Jarencio, a one-time UAAP champion coach.
GlobalPort won’t see action until next Tuesday when the Batang Pier collide with the NLEX Road Warriors in the 4:15 p.m. game at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.