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GLOBALPORT SURPRISES GINEBRA

06:10 PM November 30, 2014

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IN THIS instance, a coaching change produced instant results for GlobalPort.

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Interim head coach Eric Gonzales made a rousing debut in steering the Batang Pier to a 98-77 victory over the skidding Barangay Ginebra Kings Sunday in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Terrence Romeo bounced back from a seven-point performance the last time out by scoring 25 markers while Anthony Semerad, Alex Cabagnot and Keith Jensen each chipped in at least 11 points each.

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The man of the moment, however, is Gonzales, who was appointed by owner Mikee Romero to take over from Pido Jarencio last Wednesday and promptly delivered GlobalPort’s fifth win in 10 games. Jarencio was named consultant.

“After the San Miguel Beer game, nagkaroon kami ng meeting with management and I was informed then,” related the man who also acted as assistant to former head coaches Junel Baculi and Ritchie Ticzon while acting as deputy to Nash Racela in Far Eastern U on the side. “Ang sabi ni Boss Mikee, hawakan ko raw in an interim capacity. I’m just following orders.”

The defeat was Barangay Ginebra’s third straight, dropping it to a 5-4 win-loss slate and foiling its bid to cop a top two finish and its corresponding automatic semifinals berth at the end of the 11-game eliminations.

The Kings wind up the elims against Alaska and Rain or Shine, but even if they win those they would not still get to the eight wins currently carried by co-leaders Alaska and San Miguel Beer.

Gonzales “interim” job seems secure after being the only man to claim a first game win as head coach of the Batang Pier, aside from helming the franchise to its biggest win since joining the league prior to the 2012-13 season.

Serving Gonzales in good stead was the fact he managed the minutes of his players well to keep them fresh and sustain the fullcourt press they utilized for majority of the game.

“Nakikita naming mahaba minutes ng ibang mga players and we wanted to keep the team fresh,” explained Gonzales, whose team harassed Barangay Ginebra to go 24-for-81 from the field and commit 12 turnovers. The Batang Pier also had 21 fastbreak points, 15 more than the Kings.

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“Nakita naming ang Ginebra pin-ressure din ng Barako (Bull) pero kinapos lang ang Barako. Ginagaya ko lang ang ibang coaches, iyung delaying tactics ni (Meralco coach) Norman Black, (NLEX’s) Boyet Fernandez,” said Gonzales.

Offense was taken care of by the Romeo-led Batang Pier, who seized control right in the midway point of the opening quarter, posted a 52-31 halftime lead and even stretched the difference to a high of 57-33.

The fullcourt press that GlobalPort utilized, coupled with the hot shooting of its dreaded backcourt, led to a sustained attack that netted the Batang Pier a 52-31 halftime bulge.

So quick and so often were the substitutions made by Gonzales to keep up the pressure that he has used up all his 14 players with still 7:18 left in the second quarter. (NC)

The scores:

GLOBALPORT 98 – Romeo 25, Semerad 17, Cabagnot 15, Jensen 11, Pinto 5, Buenafe 5, De Ocampo 5, Baclao 4, Caperal 3, Ponferada 3, Pringle 2, Nabong 2, Isip 1, Taha 0.

BARANGAY GINEBRA 77 – Slaughter 21, Aguilar 14, Tenorio 11, Baracael 10, Yeo 6, Ellis 4, Caguioa 4, Mamaril 3, Helterbrand 2, Brondial 2, Monfort 0, Forrester 0, Urbiztondo 0, Reyes 0.

Quarterscores: 24-16, 52-31, 75-57, 98-77

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