ANGELES CITY – Indirectly, NorthPort coach Pido Jarencio said staying inside the PBA bubble for this long has taken its toll on him.
Good thing, there were his so-called ‘Super Friends’ to lean on in this trying time.
Jarencio admitted being talked to and advised by NorthPort management and close buddies to keep it easy and not be hard on the Batang Pier especially after the team’s slow start in the Philippine Cup.
Taking their words to heart, Jarencio proved to be a calm presence at the NorthPort bench Saturday when it finally booked its first win of the season, a 107-96 beating of Terrafirma at the Angeles University Foundation gym (powered by Smart 5G).
“Yung pressure pumunta na rin sa amin, ang hirap dito pag natatalo ka ang pressure lalong dumarami,” said the veteran mentor.
“I’m happy na natuloy ang PBA. Pero alam mo dito sa bubble, physical at mental dito. Walang coach at player na hindi magsasabi nun.”
Things didn’t start the way the Batang Pier envisioned, losing their first two games against Blackwater and Phoenix.
It didn’t help any, the breaks of the game went their way in a 70-68 heartbreaker opposite Rain or Shine in the team’s third game before coming out flat the next outing versus NLEX.
With pressure fast building up, Jarencio’s ‘Super Friends’ were there to lend a helping hand.
“Kinakausap nila ako. They keep on supporting me, sinasabi nila sa akin kaya yan, talagang ganyan yung sitwasyon ninyo pero laban lang,” he said of the words of encouragement given him.
Jarencio also didn’t fail to mention the continued trust of NorthPort Board of Governor Eric Arejola, team manager Bonnie Tan, and assistant manager Waiyip Chong.
The NorthPort officials, all of whom are not in the bubble, told him to just chill out and enjoy the game, to which Jarencio agreed.
“Siguro para ma-relax din yung mga player, kaya sabi ko oo nga, para ma-relax din ako,” he said.
As Jarencio settled down on the bench, the Batang Pier did too, during the game and went on to clinch their first game in the All-Filipino conference even without injured key player Sean Anthony.
Now the Batang Pier tasted blood. Jarencio hopes it could be the start of something else.
“Alam mo naman ang NorthPort gulpi na, bumabangon pa,” he said.