A lot will definitely be at stake for Globalport when it takes on Barako Bull in the curtain raiser of the PBA Philippine Cup on Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Other than pressed to win over the Energy, all eyes are also on coach Pido Jarencio, who’s coaching job reportedly hangs in the balance depending on the outcome of the 3 p.m. match.
Expectations are high on the Batang Pier this year after retooling their roster during the offseason that netted them top rookie pick Stanley Pringle and veteran acquisitions in Mark Isip and Noy Baclao.
But Globalport suffered a heartbreaker right on its season debut by blowing a double-digit lead before losing to Asi Taulava and newcomer NLEX Road Warriors, 101-96 last Tuesday.
As expected, Jarencio came under fire after the team’s meltdown that reports began circulating former Air21 coach Franz Pumaren is likely to take over as new coach of the Batang Pier.
Pumaren, who steered the Express to the franchise’s first-ever semifinal stint in last season’s Commisioner’s Cup, has long been rumored of taking over the coaching chores for the three-year-old franchise owned by businessman-sportsman Mikee Romero.
Pumaren, a many-time UAAP champion coach, has since been left without a team after the Express decided to sell their franchise to NLEX last June.
The Batang Pier lost to the Road Warriors despite getting a combined output of 75 points to their so-called ‘three-headed monster’ in Terrence Romeo, Alex Cabagnot, and Pringle.
Meanwhile, Barako Bull’s new coach Koy Banal has reminded the Energy to trust his system, even if he’s been handling the team for just a week since the mysterious firing of erstwhile mentor Siot Tanquingcen.
“We do not have a legitimate superstar as they say, but we want to give everybody equal opportunity. So now, chemistry ang no. 1 goal namin,” said Banal, a long-time assistant with Purefoods and Petron, before joining Barako Bull last year as one of the assistant coaches.
“Dapat maniwala kami sa sistema at isa’t isa, para mag-work ang sistema namin.”