The Batang Pier had a tough schedule when they entered the 2018 PBA Commissioner’s Cup quarterfinals round. Not only that they’ll be greeted by the number 1 seeded Rain or Shine team bit it also carries a twice-to-beat advantage.
However, they have now able to virtually tie the series after stealing Game 1 last Tuesday night and pushed their ROS duel into a win-or-go-home situation.
Known as the “Fireman” during his Ginebra playing career, coach Pido Jarencio will lead his squad by calling plays from the bench and become the fourth team in the history of PBA that toppled a number one seeded sqaud.
In Game 1, coach Jarencio designed a play which was designed for Malcolm White. However, the Batang Pier import got doubled-team immediately and decided to pass to Jonathan Grey in the corner. Without hesitation, Grey released a contested three-pointer and went directly at the bottom of the nets.
That shot gave Batang Pier a single lead, 114-113 with eleven seconds remaining. In the next position, ROS unable to buy a basket as their shot was heavily contested. Ahanmisi threw a desperation shot as time expires.
“So we’re now even. Gagawin namin ang dapat namin gawin para kunin yan,” said Jarencio, hinting at going all out at clinching a first Final Four appearance for GlobalPort after its previous semis stint in the 2016 PBA Philippine Cup.
The other three teams that able to beat a number one seeded team were Powerade, Barangay Ginebra and San Miguel Beermen.
Coach Pido Jarencio is ready to take the challenge although the road to get it will be very tough.
“Importante buhay pa kami at may tsansa pang umusad,” said Jarencio.
Despite of Batang Pier’s import Malcolm White was in foul trouble, ROS weren’t able to capitalize that situation and even gave up its early 16-point lead. Likewise, Maverick Ahanmisi missed several key free-throws in the last few seconds of the final quarter.
“With Malcolm on the bench with fouls, our locals worked hard. We started running which is what’s really our strength. We can’t execute when we go to halfcourt game,” said Jarencio. “Malamang yun pa rin ang gagawin namin.”