NORTHPORT makes it to the PBA playoffs as a second seed with twice-to-beat advantage for the first time in franchise history, and guess what's waiting for the Batang Pier?
A match-up against powerhouse San Miguel Beer.
No wonder NorthPort coach Pido Jarencio was damning their luck after the second-seeded Batang Pier learned that they've drawn the Beermen, who fell to seventh seed after a loss to Meralco on Friday coupled by Magnolia's setback to TNT.
“Siyempre dehado kami doon,” Jarencio told SPIN.ph on Thursday. “Defending champion (ng Philippine Cup) makakalaban. Sa dinami-dami ng teams, 12 kami. Isipin mo, sa sampung team, isipin mo ‘yun pa bumagsak sa amin.”
After years under the radar, the Batang Pier clinched a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals for the very first time in franchise history after taking second spot behind TNT at the end of the elims on a 9-2 win-loss card.
Jarencio, however, has no doubt in his mind that the Batang Pier will be the underdogs against the Beermen, who is the last team anyone in the league wants to meet despite the team's losing 5-6 record in the elims.
“Champion team ‘yan,” Jarencio said. “Di maalis ‘yun. Tapos ‘yung five-time MVP, si June Mar Fajardo, magaling pa ‘yung import.
“Talagang kailangan super A1 perfect game ang laruin namin sa San Miguel para makalusot,” he added.
NorthPort beat San Miguel, 121-88, which actually started the Batang Pier’s string of six of seven victories to cap off the elimination round. But Jarencio still doesn’t see the victory over the Beermen as an advantage.
“Tinalo nga, kulang-kulang naman sila. Iba na ‘yung sitwasyon ngayon. Buo na sila, tapos nagpalit sila ng import. Napakagaling. Basta kami, gawa lang kami ng plano, tignan natin kung ano ang mangyayari,” said Jarencio.
Jarencio only hopes that the San Miguel match-up enough motivation to bring the best out of his Batang Pier.
“Sana ma-motivate ang mga players ng husto na kahit papaano, wag ma-intimidate sa San Miguel,” said Jarencio.