WITH three title contenders as opponents over the next seven days, GlobalPort coach Pido Jarencio is hopeful that new import Dior Lowhorn could bring in the energy, hustle and rebounding that the Batang Pier need in the PBA Governors Cup.
Lowhorn is coming off a stint with the Hamamatsu Higashimikawa Phoenix in Japan the past two months and is expected to make an immediate impact for the Batang Pier.
The wide-bodied Lowhorn debuts on Friday for GlobalPort (1-2) when it faces grand slam-seeking San Mig Super Coffee (2-1) in the main game of the season-ending conference at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
This will be the second tour of duty for the 6-4 banger out of University of San Francisco after playing for Barangay Ginebra in last season’s Governors Cup where he averaged 30.9 points, 11.3 rebounds, and 1.7 assists in 11 games.
“Blessing din kasi nakasama na namin siya, so yung chemistry kahit paano for the three practices, at na-explain ko na ano ang ginagawa namin,” said GlobalPort coach Pido Jarencio ahead of the 8 p.m. game.
Lowhorn admits the task of beating elite PBA teams like San Mig, San Miguel next Tuesday, followed by Talk ‘N Text (Friday) won’t be easy.
“It’s a challenge. It’s not gonna be easy at all,” the 27-year-old Lowhorn said, who arrived just last Monday.
“But I know what they (Batang Pier) are capable of doing. We can’t be discouraged if the stuff don’t go our way in the first few minutes but we just have to keep fighting possession after possession,” he added.
GlobalPort started out well on Sunday but eventually ran out of steam in the second half as it bowed to Rain or Shine, 119-97 to stumble to 1-2 this conference.
That also marked the final game of Leroy Hickerson, paving the way for Lowhorn’s PBA return.
Globalport will be facing a San Mig squad that is coming off a 108-90 lynching of winless Meralco on Tuesday.
On the other hand, San Mig forward Marc Pingris said he has a "50-50" chance of playing on Friday as he tries to recover from a left rib injury that was hit by Meralco center James Sena during the Mixers' 108-90 victory over the Bolts.
Pingris, who was slapped with a P40,000 fine by PBA commissioner Chito Salud for retaliating with a punch that grazed Sena's back, skipped the team's practice on Thursday to undergo rehab on his left rib.
Nevertheless, San Mig coach Tim Cone said with a team that has been seasoned and toughened through the numerous playoff and championships wars the last two seasons, he’s confident that the Mixers can make the solid run for the grand slam.
“We’re a mature team at this point. We’re focused on just winning and what it takes to win,” said Cone, whose team currently is tied for third to fifth places in the standings with Alaska, Air21 and Talk ‘N Text on similar 2-1 win-loss records.