GlobalPort head coach Franz Pumaren knows he has to get something from his bench players if the team aspires to advance to the 2017 PBA Commissioner’s Cup playoffs.
The Batang Pier ranks dead last in the league with only 23.2 bench points per game.
But on Sunday, without Terrence Romeo to lean on, the reserves finally stepped up for GlobalPort in a 105-86 rout of Mahindra much to the delight of Pumaren.
“If you look at our games, our bench was hardly a factor, but now it was able to give us a lift,” Pumaren said after the Batang Pier got 35 bench points in the blowout. “Hopefully, the bench will continue helping us in our coming games.”
One of those reserves who picked up the slack was rookie Von Pessumal, who had a field day from threes as he shot 4-of-9 from beyond the arc to register a career-best 14 points.
The former Ateneo shooter acknowledges how big of a boost bench support can provide for a team. That’s why he’s continually challenging himself to step up to the plate regardless of what the situation is.
“Basketball is 48 minutes, so even if the starters play well for 36, the other 12 minutes should be solid to win the game. Bench contributions come in big in those situations, and we all try to collectively do our part so that we can contribute in the games,” he said.
Pessumal is confident that this game could be an eye-opener for GlobalPort to make the most of its arsenal.
“Terrence is our number one option, but I think that when he comes back, we’ll be more deadly if the bench can contribute while he’s also on the court,” he said. “We just have to play together more and understand that if we want to make it to the playoffs, we need to be a team. We’re getting there slowly. Hopefully, this will be a springboard for us to get to the playoffs.”