Eric Gonzales says injury-hit frontline - not import - the reason for GlobalPort slide
GlobalPort coach Eric Gonzales says Yanccy de Ocampo and Kelly Nabong are both sidelined by injuries. Jaime Campos

GLOBALPORT coach Eric Gonzales isn’t pinning the entire blame on CJ Leslie for the Batang Pier’s slide, saying the team is lacking in big men who could provide help for the import in the middle.

“Okay naman siya (Leslie). Tina-try naman niya ang best niya,” Gonzales said after the team dropped its second straight game in the PBA Philippine Cup on Friday night after bowing to Rain or Shine, 104-98.

"Pero kailangan mag-tulungan talaga so we need to work on rebounding kasi we lack big men."

Gonzales, who took over from Pido Jarencio late in the Philippine Cup eliminations, explained that his frontline got shorter with Yancy de Ocampo and Kelly Nabong going down with injuries.

De Ocampo has yet to play this conference due to a bad back, while Nabong, a wide-bodied center, has missed the team’s last two matches due to a knee problem.

As it that was not enough, GlobalPort’s remaining big men like Noy Baclao and Jewel Ponferada are also not 100-percent healthy, according to the rookie coach.

“Wala si Yancy, wala si Kelly, sila Noy at Jewel may, iniinda din. Our import, di naman legit big, so I think we need to help each other out to find a way to rebound,” he added.

Asked if management is looking to shop around for another import who can provide the inside presence the Batang Pier sorely need, Gonzales said that can be an option.

“Lagi naman may evaluation (on Leslie). He’s trying his best naman to help the team,” he said. “From Day One, we’re looking for that (big import), kaya lang, minsan okay na, minsan naman, naging di puwede, or minsan di na pala available dahil may liga sa Lebanon, liga sa Korea. Now okay na, tapos biglang di okay."

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GlobalPort currently stands at 1-2, it’s lone victory coming at the expense of KIA Motors, 100-89, on opening day. The Batang Pier will try to arrest their two-game slide when they face the Alaska Aces on Tuesday.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @richava