ANOTHER disappointing campaign, another lesson learned for Globalport Batang Pier.
While the rookie franchise still has a mathematical chance of making the playoffs of the PBA Commissioner's Cup, its fate is definitely no longer in its own hands following the team’s 92-103 defeat to Meralco Bolts prior to the Holy Week break.
It was the eighth straight defeat for the Batang Pier, who remained mired at the bottom of the standings with an abysmal 2-9 record.
Overall this season, Globalport just won thrice in 25 games, counting its stint in the Philippine Cup where it ended the conference with 10 straight losses.
“Malungkot kami,” Globalport team manager BJ Manalo acknowledged as the Batang Pier took a long break for the rest of the Holy Week to recharge after another disappointing conference.
“But now, we’re looking forward kasi kung di kami matututo dito sa mga talo starting pa last conference, walang mangyayari. We’re putting these lessons inside our hearts and the organization evaluates every time, but we always look forward,” explained the youthful team manager.
Hopes were high the moment the young franchise acquired top playmaker Solomon Mercado from Meralco in a multi-player trade, and 6-foot-9 Japeth Aguilar from Talk 'N Text in exchange for Rabeh Al-Hussaini prior to the start of the mid-season tournament.
The Batang Pier actually jumped off to a quick 2-1 start in the conference behind the strong plays of then import Justin Williams and Aguilar, plus the double-double efforts shown by Mercado.
Globalport though stumbled from there, compiling one loss after the other which it attributed to the the lack of scoring from Williams, who was eventually replaced by Walter Sharpe.
Sharpe proved not sharp enough for the task and lasted just two games before he was sent home packing after being caught sleeping in a parking lot in front of a row of bars in Pasig City.
The Batang Pier have since signed up Sylvester Morgan.
But Globalport’s woes don’t just end there.
With still three games left in the team schedule, doctors have advised Mercado to sit all three remaining outings to avoid aggravating the right shoulder injury which has bothered him this conference.
“With three games left, we’re charging these (defeats) to experience. Siguro talaga itong mga challenges can make us stronger,” said Manalo.
“But we’ll keep fighting. Iyan lang naman hinhiling namin and that’s what we expect from our players and coaches. Kailangang di mawala sa isip namin na lahat ng ito part of the process. We’re only a seven-month-old team.”