DESPITE the short tournament format of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup, new Globalport coach Pido Jarencio is taking things slow and easy as he tries to get the Batang Pier on the same page in their first conference together.
Still trying to adjust to yet another new system, the Batang Pier floundered in their first game under Jarencio as they dropped a 78-83 decision to the Air21 Express Wednesday night in the opener of the import-laden conference.
Jarencio admitted both he and the team are still adjusting to each other.
“Medyo marami pang aayusin sa team. Pero pag naayos na iyan, tuloy tuloy na iyan (wins),” Jarencio told sports scribes after emerging from the quiet Globalport dugout inside the Mall of Asia Arena.
As a consequence, only two players scored in double figures for Globalport, led by import Evan Brock who finished with 28 points and 26 rebounds and rookie big man Justin Chua with 10.
Key acquisition Alex Cabagnot had a quiet four points as he opted to be a facilitator for a team that is only in its second season in the pro league.
But Jarencio stressed that no matter what happens, he has placed the leadership role of the team on Cabagnot, whom the Batang Pier acquired from San Miguel Beer during the conference break in exchange for Solomon Mercado.
“Si Cabagnot, siya ang leader ng team eh. Siguro nag-a-adjust pa rin naman siya. Pero kahit ako, basta sa akin lang yung effort nandun, huwag lang magkulang, okay na ako dun,” he added.
The former University of Santo Tomas mentor said the Batang Pier didn’t lack the effort in fighting back from an early 2-14 deficit as they rode on the broad shoulders of Brock to take a 78-77 late in the final period.
But unfamiliarity with each other proved fatal for the team, allowing the Express to spoil Jarencio’s coaching debut in the pros.
“For sure, magkaka-progress din kami. Darating naman ang panahon at gaganda ang takbo ng team,” he said.
“For now, medyo masama lang, konting dasal pa at konting sipag pa for both the players and coaches.”