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    New import Sharpe confident he can turn conference around for skidding Batang Pier

    Mar 9, 2013
    Junel Baculi and the Batang Pier hope to get a huge offensive boost from former Detroit Piston Walter Sharpe. Jerome Ascano / Richard Dy

    WHILE Globalport felt its former import didn’t fit well with the locals, its new reinforcement believes he can thrive in the Batang Pier system.

    The 245-pound Walter Sharpe, brought in to replace Justin Williams, said he feels the Batang Pier can succeed given the talent they have from the point guard spot to the two-guard position all the way to the frontcourt.

    Jet-lagged and all, the 6-foot-9 Sharpe said he’s excited to plunge into action on Sunday and help the Batang Pier arrest their four-game skid and start a winning streak for the two-conference-old PBA franchise.

    “I like them, everybody's so nice and real welcoming. I’ve learned a lot about our offense and we should be pretty good,” Sharpe told shortly after Globalport’s practice at the Moro Lorenzo gym.

    “They have everything they need, except a legitimate big man who can attract double team. So it puts a lot of teams at a disadvantage when I shoot from the outside,” said the University of Alabama-Birmingham product.

    The Batang Pier wanted more offensive contributions from its reinforcement but Williams couldn’t deliver. Now coach Junel Baculi is hoping the change will make a huge difference.

    Sharpe played eight games for the Detroit Pistons during his rookie year in the 2008-2009 NBA season, averaging one point and 0.4 rebounds in 2.5 minutes of action.

    He was buried deep in the Pistons’ small forward rotation behind veteran defensive ace Tayshaun Prince and Walter Herrmann.

    “I like it here. I’m having fun, though I’m a little bit sleepy but really excited (for the game). I got to the hotel around 1:30 am and slept a couple of hours,” said Sharpe.

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    And though he played sparingly, Sharpe remained thankful for the opportunity to learn from Prince, who figured prominently in the Pistons’ 2004 NBA title conquest over the Los Angeles Lakers.

    “I came behind Tayshaun Prince and Walter Herrmann at small forward. Growing up, you tend to want to play offense more, but (I learned that) defense is so important that you have the advantage when you play defense and offense,” said the 26-year-old forward who also had NBA D-League stints with the New Mexico Thunderbirds, the Dakota Wizards and most recently, the Idaho Stampedes.

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    Junel Baculi and the Batang Pier hope to get a huge offensive boost from former Detroit Piston Walter Sharpe. Jerome Ascano / Richard Dy
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