BIÑAN, Laguna - Barako Bull coach Koy Banal appreciated newly-acquired Sol Mercado’s gesture of standing up for his teammates during a crucial moment in the Energy’s PBA Commissioner’s Cup game against Barangay Ginebra on Sunday night at the Alonte Sports Complex here.
Mercado had some heated words with Michael Dunigan during the third quarter after the Ginebra import elbowed rookie Jake Pascual that resulted in an offensive foul.
Dunigan however, made a second motion against Pascual, prompting Mercado to step in and confront the Ginebra import.
Proverbial cooler heads prevented the situation from getting out of hand as both Mercado and Dunigan were slapped with technical fouls.
Banal however, sees something positive about it.
“That was what he assured to his teammates that he will be watching their back,” said Banal moments after the Energy emerged a 69-68 winner over the Kings during their highly-physical match.
Mercado was recently acquired by Barako Bull from Globalport in exchange for Denok Miranda. Prior to that, he was traded by San Miguel Beermen to the Batang Pier for Alex Cabagnot.
And even though he is new to the team, Banal said Mercado is fitting in well with the Energy.
“When it comes to camaraderie, his teamwork, and chemistry, he is always there. I’m just grateful for this guy. He is a blessing to us. Though we miss the services of Denok, ang kapalit naman ay okay din,”