GLOBALPORT owner Mikee Romero doesn’t mind if his team loses - so long as it takes pride in what it is doing.
Disappointed yet again with the way the Batang Pier loosened up and allowed Air21 to extinguish a 14-point deficit before failing to mount a comeback of their own, Romero was very vocal in challenging his players to be more professional in what they do.
“I told them to give their best. I challenged them na mahiya sila sa mga sarili nila,” said Romero, the sportsman-businessman whose passion for winning is unquestionable.
The outburst came in the wake of Globalport’s seventh straight loss in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup, a 72-87 rout at the hands of Air21 in a game that saw the team in control for the first two quarters before collapsing in the second half behind an avalanche of Air21 points courtesy of import Michael Dunigan and veteran point guard Wynne Arboleda.
The Batang Pier were outscored in the pivotal third period, 10-28, as the Express turned a 34-41 deficit to a 62-51 lead entering the fourth.
“I challenged them to act as a team again and throw away their personal issues,” added Romero, who talked with the coaching staff led by Junel Baculi for almost two hours following the 15-point blowout.
Two of the team’s superstars Gary David and Willie Miller affirmed their support for what Romero has been trying to preach to the PBA rookie franchise.
“Basta hanggang sa dulo ng game lumaban daw kami (sabi ni Boss Mikee), magkaroon daw kami ng pride sa ginagawa namin," said David.
Miller, the two-time league MVP added, "Mag-take pride daw kami at huwag basta-basta magpapatalo. Fight for every game.”
Romero however, believes the heartbreaking losses his young team suffered against Barako Bull and Meralco early in the conference had a huge effect on the franchise’s campaign.
The Batang Pier lost a 10-point lead in the final two minutes of their game against the Energy Cola and dropped an 88-98 setback in overtime, while the Bolts banked on the game-winning three-pointer of Sunday Salvacion to prevail over the rookie team, 90-89.
The team owner pondered on what could have been had the team pulled off those victories.
But while the Batang Pier languish at the bottom of the standings with a 2-8 mark, Romero said new import Sylvester Morgan – Globalport’s third for the tournament - will stay on until the end of the conference.