NORTHPORT owner Mikee Romero is not losing sleep over his team’s dismal campaign in the PBA Governors’ Cup, citing the early absence of cornerstone Stanley Pringle to Team Pilipinas duty as a major reason for the team’s winless start in the season-ending conference.
“We sacrificed for the country by giving Pringle,” Romero told SPIN.ph. “Pringle is the heart and soul of the team. That’s the price we pay.”
“It’s good for the hundred million Filipinos,” he added. “Nag-enjoy naman sila nung napanood si Pringle, bigay naman lahat. Kaya lang pag balik, syempre nangangapa.”
Pringle has already returned, but still, the Batang Pier have yet to win in six games, coming off a disappointing 104-102 loss to TNT KaTropa last Sunday in a game where they squandered a 23-point lead.
“Nung nawala si Terrence (Romeo), 80 percent ng scoring ng Northport is Pringle, nawala,” the Northport boss continued. “It’s a sacrifice. And I don’t mind, isang conference. Natuwa naman buong Pilipinas.”
Worse, star forward Sean Anthony also missed the first three games of the conference due to a calf injury.
Romero is not blaming coach Pido Jarencio for their recent performance, but urges him and the rest of the team to find ways to win despite having a shorthanded lineup.
“Hindi (sinisisi) eh,” Romero said. “Well, he has to double time also, kasi baka yung mindset, yung mindset kasi ng team, ‘wala yung star player natin, paano tayo mananalo?’ ‘di ba? Pero sakrispisyo talaga. Like Rain or Shine.”
Does Romero miss Romeo, his former franchise player who was traded to TNT KaTropa for Mo Tautuaa?
“It’s a big blow to our team, but it’s mutually good for both,” Romero said. “He wanted another team, try another team, and kami naman, we want to experiment also and rebuild, so 2018 is not our year talaga. Let’s see. After this conference, mag-meeting kami.”
“Siguro ngayon, ang little step namin mapasok lang sa quarterfinals,” he added.
Romero is also looking ahead to the PBA Draft where he is eyeing reigning NCAA MVP and Lyceum star CJ Perez – if the lottery pick would still be available by the time it’s the Batang Pier’s turn to pick.
“Gustong-gusto ko yun eh. Baka umabot, nasa baba kami eh. Top Five kami,” Romero said as his team, as it stands, is fifth in the pecking order. “Pero yun ang maganda: CJ Perez and Pringle, and then we have Tautuaa. Si Tautuaa lang kailangan mag-mature.”