Bolick returns to help anchor Batang Pier’s late playoff push
MANILA, Philippines–NorthPort has been on a tear in the PBA Governors’ Cup, taking down two mighty clubs in erstwhile unbeaten Magnolia and Meralco, and then extending its winning ways by roughing up Phoenix Super LPG for a 101-93 on Saturday night in Antipolo City.
From a team that seemingly cannot do anything right early, the Batang Pier cannot do anything wrong and are looking good in their chase for a playoff berth.
That’s why it was but natural for coach Pido Jarencio to be over the moon after the Phoenix win, even poking fun at his “bashers.”
But the animated coach also knows deep down that his club is in no way out of the woods yet.
“We can never tell, considering all possibilities,” he told the Inquirer as he raced back to his team’s dugout, where he was met with celebratory roars.
“What we’re sure of is we’re making plans and we need to work hard in every game. We’re in no way overconfident,” he added.
The Batang Pier have three more games left in the classification phase, two of which are against Blackwater and Terrafirma—two teams in the bottom of the standings.
Chemistry will remain
Jarencio’s outlook is also steeped in the fact that the Batang Pier will become even more of a fearsome lot once Robert Bolick and Kevin Ferrer rejoin the fold on Wednesday when they take on the winless Bossing in the PBA’s return to Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“We’re very happy that we’re going to be complete. At the same time, the guys we’re making do with now are contributing,” he said.
There’s also the possibility that Bolick, fresh from his Gilas Pilipinas stint, and Ferrer who is coming back from an injury could throw a monkey wrench in his now-cohesive crew.
Just don’t count Jarencio among those who think that way.
“Those players are always ready,” he said. “They’re integral pieces of this team. They’ve been integral in my shaping of this squad.
“But really, we don’t take anything for granted. Blackwater, Terrafirma have capable players. They have game plans. They also do scouting,” Jarencio said.
“As far as we’re concerned, our mantra is to get the last three games. And intend to do that with defense. Then the offense will just flow. Our players are actually coming together now,” he added.
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