HIS stint with Globalport in the PBA Governors Cup may be a short one, but Sunday Salvacion has seen enough to foresee a bright future for the Batang Pier.
That is, as long as they keep the explosive backcourt duo of Stanley Pringle and Terrence Romeo.
The veteran wingman believes just a few pieces to surround what is easily the hands-down most prolific tandem in the league today are needed to make GlobalPort a title contender in the pro league.
With GlobalPort filled with the scorers led by Romeo and Pringle, Salvacion stressed a couple of defensive players are what the Batang Pier are lacking to really compete with today’s elite franchises.
“Kailangan talaga nung dalawa, role players na magsa-sacrifice on defense,” he said. “Alam naman natin parehas na scorers ang mga yun.”
Although known more as a deadly outside gunner, Salvacion understands he was tapped by Globalport midway through the season-ending conference to specifically play the role as defensive stopper, at least easing the burden on Pringle and Romeo at the other end of the court.
It’s exactly nothing new to him, having assumed the same task before with Ginebra when the ‘Fast and Furious’ partnership of Mark Caguioa and JayJay Helterbrand was in its prime.
Salvacion actually sees a similarity between the past and the present.
“Dati naglaro ako sa Gineba. Yung laro nila Terrence and Stanley and JayJay at Mark halos the same,” he noted.
“Parehas na run and gun. Ganun ang mga laro nila,” Salvacion said. “So unlike nung mga earlier years ko na ako ang hihingi ng pick and roll, spot up, spot up na lang ako. Ganito din halos sa Globalport.”
Ginebra, of course, had won four championships behind Caguioa and Helterbrand, while GlobalPort has none to show since putting together the Romeo-Pringle pair two years ago.
But the signs are there.
Although the Batang Pier limped in their final conference campaign for the season with a 4-7 (win-loss) card to miss the playoffs for the second straight tournament, the franchise actually made history this year when it reached the semifinals for the first time during the season-opening Philippine Cup.
The season was also the best in Globalport’s four-year history in the league after compiling a 17-23 mark to improve their 16-22 record established last year.
“So kung makikita mo may promise naman yung team. May ilang bad breaks lang talaga kami sa endgame this conference, otherwise naka-playoffs din sana kami,” said the 37-year-old Salvacion.
The contract of the former St. Benilde College standout is only good for this conference, and he doesn’t have any idea whether he’ll be back with the team next season.
But Salvacion hopes he will after a season that saw him recover from a calf injury and suit up for MX3 Kings in the Asean Basketball Legaue (ABL), Mighty Sports in the Jones Cup, and finally, with the Batang Pier.
“Hindi ko lang alam after this conference kung ire-renew ako,” he said. “Umaasa pa naman din ako, kasi ilang games naman na okay ang laro ko. Kaya pa naman.”
If not, he’s more than happy to have helped chart what he asserts is the bright future for the young franchise in his own little way.