PIDO Jarencio makes his head-coaching debut in the PBA as GlobalPort kicks off its Commissioner’s Cup campaign against Air21 on Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Jarencio will be inheriting a team that is coming off a seventh-place finish in the season-opening Philippine Cup under the guidance of interim coach Ritchie Ticzon.
Other than Jarencio, the 5:45 p.m. encounter will also see the Batang Pier debut of Alex Cabagnot and Bonbon Custodio who the team acquired through trades during the conference break.
In his month-long stay so far with GlobalPort, Jarencio slowly began instilling a tough defensive mindset on a team noted more for its tendency to fade at crunch time.
“One month pa lang ako pero medyo may positive na. Kahit paano maganda-ganda na takbo namin offensively at defensively,” said Jarencio ahead of match against the Express that kicks off the import-spiced conference.
Also back in harness for the Mikee Romero-owned Batang Pier is Fil-Am forward Jay Washington, who has recovered from a partially torn plantar fasciia which he suffered at the tailend of the Philippine Cup.
GlobalPort is tapping Evan Brock for its import, hopeful the comebacking reinforcement could provide the defensive spunk for the two-year-old franchise.
Brock played 11 games for Barako Bull last season, averaging 21.1 points, 16 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 1.6 blocks in 40.8 minutes of play before being replaced at the last-minute by former Los Angeles Lakers backup center DJ Mbenga.
Brock will test the mettle of Air21 import Herve Lamizana, a noted defensive specialist who recently played for the Sichuan Blue Whales in the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA).
The long-limbed Lamizana, who hails from Ivory Coast in the African region, averaged 13.8 points, 8.3 rebounds, 1.5 blocks, and 1.3 assists for the Blue Whales.
Jonas Villanueva is expected to add backcourt experience to the Express, who competed in the all-Filipino conference with two-guard Joseph Yeo playing the point.