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Unbeaten Beermen test streaking Batang Pier

By: - Reporter / @MusongINQ
/ 05:01 AM January 24, 2018

Pido Jarencio admitted that his GlobalPort crew is currently on a hot streak.

But he also knows exactly what he and his Batang Pier will be up against, and how thin the ice they will be skating on against powerhouse three-time defending champion San Miguel Beer.

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So thin, Jarencio knows, that the tiniest of errors will crack it.

“We have no room for mistakes,” Jarencio told the Inquirer over the phone as the Batang Pier try to put the first blemish on the Beermen’s record in the PBA Philippine Cup Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao.

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“We have to be 100 percent in everything we do against them, on offense, in defense,” he went on, even as he raved about how cohesive his team has been in the last two weeks of the conference despite their biggest star, Terrence Romeo, continuing to sit it out. “It has to be total team effort (on our part) and flawless execution.”

San Miguel will come into the game with a four-game winning streak and, knowing how the Beermen are when a serious challenge is on the other end of the court, they are expected to respond to any GlobalPort upset plans with great efficiency.

Like they did when they played NLEX and Kiefer Ravena, when they devastated TNT KaTropa on the road, when they nipped Meralco, and when they bamboozled Phoenix Petroleum on opening day.

“They have the killer’s instinct and their confidence is very high,” Jarencio said of his foes as the Batang Pier try to climb above .500 for the first time here.

“But we have been on a run of our own and the last two practices were very good,” Jarencio said. “It will be tough. But we’re ready for a tough game.”

Jarencio is particularly wary of four-time MVP June Mar Fajardo, whom he describes as the “best player in the league,” and expects Kelly Nabong to step up once again and give his GlobalPort a Chinaman’s chance against the Beermen.

“Kelly did his share against (Greg) Slaughter (of Barangay Ginebra),” Jarencio said. “And as long as he can do his share on defense against June Mar, we will have a good chance.”

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Cellar-dwellers Meralco and KIA Picanto tangle at 4:30 p.m. with the Bolts seeking to snap a three-game slide and the Picanto shooting for a second straight win.

KIA will come into the game minus Eric Camson, who was fined P30,000 and suspended a game for exchanging blows—and starting the fight—with Rain or Shine’s Raymond Almazan last Friday.

Almazan was also canned a game and fined P20,000, the same penalties slapped by officer in charge Willie Marcial on NLEX’s Mike Miranda, who kicked San Miguel’s Chris Ross in the groin in their game over the weekend.

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