PBA: After breakthrough win, Bonnie Tan sees ‘more competitive’ NorthPort in next games
MANILA, Philippines—After seven tries in the PBA Governors’ Cup, new Northport coach Bonnie Tan finally heaved a sigh of relief after steering Batang Pier to their first win of the tournament.
Tan was elated to finally get his first victory in the PBA as an official head coach as the Batang Pier dominated Terrafirma, 115-100.
“[This is] a sigh of relief and I’m just happy we got the first win. Hopefully there’s another one next time,” said the coach.
“It was hard but don’t take away the fact that they (Northport) got to 3-0 in the bubble. The players did it, they were the ones who played and they were the ones who brought this win. Let’s consider that (Robert) Bolick just got back and (Arwind) Santos played his first game back from injury. A few more times and we’ll be more competitive in our next games,” he added.
Coming off a stellar stint with Letran in the NCAA, Tan was given the huge responsibility to mentor Batang Pier replacing head-coach-turned-manager Pido Jarencio.
NEW TEAM, NEW FAMILY
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With his championship mentality, Tan knew the Xs and Os in building the team from the ground up. His first move? Get everybody on the team familiar with each other.
The result may not have been immediate but some of the positives are starting to show after seven outings.
“Our last practices, we had no new plays or defensive schemes, we just corrected our mindset heading into the games. I told them that even though they played in different teams before, this is now our new team, our new family and they are the ones who will help us get the first win,” told the top mentor.
Player of the game JM Calma also made sure to laud Tan after steering the squad to its first victory, saying this win was also dedicated to the collegiate champion coach.
“I thank the Lord because we finally got our first win of the conference and of course, coach Bonnie Tan’s first win,” Calma in Filipino.
“I give credit to coach Bonnie’s system because he feeds us big men inside and we repay it with our hustle and rebounds.”
The San Sebastian product tallied a near double-double with 18 points and nine rebounds on a highly-efficient 87.5 percent shooting clip. He sank seven of his eight attempts.
Robert Bolick played an all-around game with 26 markers, nine boards, six assists and three steals while import Kevin Murphy was also a rebound shy of a double-double with a 28-point and nine-board outing.
When asked if Tan had any regrets taking up the Northport coaching job, he quickly declined it, saying he is just thankful for being given the opportunity.
“This is what our boss gave us so we’re just happy that we’re here in the PBA, coaching. I also told the players that, at least, all of them are playing, we all have work. Let’s just grab the opportunities that are given to us because not everyone is given a chance to play here in the PBA.”