NorthPort, TNT shoot for lead
Down to 10 healthy men and entering the meat of their elimination round campaign in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup, life goes on for the NorthPort Batang Pier and coach Pido Jarencio.
“We only want to play and we will go all-out each and every night,” Jarencio told the Inquirer over the phone after practice Tuesday as Stanley Pringle and two others will miss action against powerhouse Magnolia.
“It’s tough getting a complete roster,” Jarencio said. “But we will make do with what we have.”
The Batang Pier slug it out against the Hotshots in the 4:30 p.m. contest at Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao where a win would again put them into a tie with idle surprise leader Blackwater. NorthPort will be shooting to win a second straight game and fifth in six outings overall.
Pringle, the team’s leading local scorer, will be out because of an injured foot.
NorthPort has had success even if it has the lowest-scoring import in the conference in Prince Ibeh. But Jarencio doesn’t mind.
In fact, he thinks Ibeh is the perfect fit for the team.
“He rebounds, he plays defense, and never asks for the ball,” said the firebrand coach. “Bagay na bagay siya sa amin (he suits our team perfectly).”
Magnolia, on the other hand, will be parading a new import in James Farr, who will be taking over from the injured John Fields.
Meanwhile, TNT also shoots for a piece of the early lead when it slugs it out with crowd-darling Barangay Ginebra in the 7 p.m. contest.
The main game will be an interesting match-up between two imports of contrasting sizes, with TNT’s Terrence Jones looming as the yardstick among imports who will be facing the much smaller Justin Brownlee, who can play a lot bigger than his size.
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