STREAKING GlobalPort is looking to add San Miguel Beer to its growing list of victims when the two teams collide in the opening match of the PBA Governors Cup on Sunday at the Astrodome.
The Batang Pier are off to a flying start in the season-opening conference, winning a franchise-best three straight wins to share joint first place with Alaska and another surprise leader in Barako Bull.
GlobalPort is actually coming off a 91-89 upset of defending champion Star Hotshots last week.
Stand-in import Steven Thomas provided the veteran smart for the Batang Pier against the Hotshots after finishing with 16 points, 12 rebounds, and six assists.
Coach Pido Jarencio commended the wide-bodied Thomas for playing his gut out even though he’ll only be with the team for a week.
“Nag-adjust sya. Ang laking tulong niya sa amin. Galing lang siya ng Thailand kaya di rin siya nanibago sa climate. Napaka-professional na tao kasi alam niya na one week lang siya dito pero ang ganda ng nilaro niya,” said Jarencio.
The 6-foot-9 Thomas will be playing his last game for the team against the Beermen before the Batang Pier leave for Dubai where former Meralco import Jarrid Famous will finally be reinforcing them.
However, GlobalPort’s new “three-headed monster” of Terrence Romeo, Stanley Pringle, and Palestinian import Omar Krayem are expected to play big once more when the Batang Pier clash with the Beermen (1-2) at 3 p.m.
And that hasn’t been loss to San Miguel coach Leo Austria, who noted GlobalPort’s recent manpower buildup has contributed to the three-year-old franchise’s strong start this conference.
“They (Batang Pier) are gaining a lot of confidence. You can see it in their lineup kasi puwede talaga silang lumaban,” said Austria, whose team ended its 0-2 start after beating Rain or Shine, 104-91.
Arizona Reid had his best game so far this conference against the Elasto Painters after finishing with 36 points and 11 rebounds, while reigning MVP June Mar Fajardo had 22 and 18 boards.
Austria admitted San Miguel’s slow start this conference has a lot to do with the spate of injuries the team had in recent weeks.
Gunner Marcio Lassiter was down with a viral infection at the start of the season-ending conference, while Arwind Santos has been playing through an injured shoulder.
Rookies Ronald Pascual (ankle) and David Semerad (shoulder) also started the conference with injuries.
No wonder, the 57-year-old San Miguel coach said he is now open to tapping an Asian import in a bid to reinforce the Beermen.
“Pagdating ng playoffs kailangan mo yan (Asian import). We feel we need a player na very talented, kasi through other Asian imports, lumalalim ang bench nila (other teams) and that’s very important going to the playoffs,” he added.