(EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the third of a series of PBA yearenders where we recap each team’s season and grade their performance from A to D.)
NORTHPORT made headlines in 2018, not so much for its play on court but for moves off it. The Mikee Romero-owned franchise stunned fans early in the season when it finally let go of enigmatic star Terrence Romeo - and in the process paved the way for the emergence of Stanley Pringle as a legit league star.
Terrence Romeo traded to TNT
GlobalPort sealed a blockbuster deal by sending Romeo to TNT for Mo Tautuaa and draft picks. The trade came a month after Romeo and GlobalPort coach Pido Jarencio figured in a shouting match during a game, an incident that turned out to be the beginning of the end for Romeo’s five-year relationship with GlobalPort.
Stanley Pringle scores 50
Pringle became the team’s solitary go-to-guy following Romeo’s exit, and the Fil-Am guard proved himself capable in a June 22 game against Columbian when he scored 50 points -the first time a local player hit that mark since Asi Taulava scored 51 in 2004. To cap a memorable year, Pringle made his debut for Team Pilipinas in the Fiba 3x3 World Cup, Asian Games, and the Fiba Basketball World Cup Asian qualifiers.
So close yet so far
In its finest moment of the season, GlobalPort came close to reaching the semifinals of the Commissioner’s Cup when the eighth-seed squad forced top-seed Rain or Shine to a rubber match, thanks to a game-winning three by Jonathan Grey. However, the Elastopainters won the series decider.
From GlobalPort to NorthPort
For the first time in franchise history, GlobalPort changed names by carrying NorthPort in time for the Governors’ Cup. The switch didn't prove auspicious as the Batang Pier won just two games in the season-ending conference to miss the playoffs.
NorthPort selects Robert Bolick in draft
Needing another player to replace Romeo, NorthPort got San Beda’s Robert Bolick with the third pick of the 2018 PBA draft. The Batang Pier got a proven winner in Bolick, who won three championships in the NCAA with the Red Lions, and he vowed to bring in the winning attitude for his new PBA team.
After making the playoffs in two out of the three conferences, NorthPort didn't do all that bad following the Romeo trade.