PBA: Pido, Batang Pier embracing challenges that lie ahead
A victory has remained elusive for NorthPort in the PBA Governors’ Cup, and though Robert Bolick has returned by signing a new deal last Saturday, coach Pido Jarencio knows what he will continue to face for the rest of the season-ending conference.
“You all saw it. We’re short in firepower,” he said on the heels of a 104-90 loss at the hands of Rain or Shine at Smart Araneta Coliseum that saw the Batang Pier reel to a fifth straight defeat. “Our lineup is still depleted. Let’s be frank, at this point, most teams have a better lineup than us, as the Gilas boys have arrived [for some of them].”
Bolick signed a fresh deal on Saturday, but at the same time declared himself available for national duty, which management readily gave him freedom to do so.
Greg Slaughter has continued to hold out from signing an extension despite getting the maximum offer, and second-string guard Nico Elorde has opted to do the same.
Team representative Erick Arejola confirmed this, with the two nowhere near signing new pacts.
Jarencio saw a bright spot in that loss to the Elasto Painters with Roi Sumang, whom he plucked out from another league for a PBA comeback, to be Bolick’s chief backup.
“At least, long-term, we can see Robert having a backup. But for now, we’re really short in men.”
The team’s import situation was also of no help, with Jamil Artis still acclimatizing and trying to fill a hole that Slaughter would usually play and which original import pick Cameron Forte was also supposed to play.
“Jamil—I’m not sourgraping—but he’s only been here five days. He’s still adjusting to the timezone, the playing conditions. And you can see that,” Jarencio said.
Troy Rike and Jamie Malonzo were also worth mentioning for Jarencio.
“[What we have] is nice for the future [with Bolick back and Rike and Malonzo coming to form],” he went on before, in typical Jarencio fashion, saying in jest: ”Build, build, build … until we get a highway.”