PBA 43 Review: For Northport, it's been sink instead of swim

Paul Lintag on Dec 27, 2018 04:22 PM
PBA 43 Review: For Northport, it's been sink instead of swim
The Batang Pier are not a bad team, that's for sure. They just need a couple of things to fall into place in order to have time to go for a swim instead of sinking so fast.

The PBA's 43rd season was a loooooong one.

Seriously, it started December of 2017 and ended December of 2018. That's 12 months of almost non-stop basketball.

But with the current PBA season finally drawing to a close, it's time we look back at how each team fared in 2018.

Today, we take on the Northport Batang Pier.

 


SINK OR SWIM

It was quite an up-and-down season for the Batang Pier and more often than not, the team was already sinking before it had the chance to go out for a swim.

The Batang Pier saw head coach Pido Jarencio return to start the season after Franz Pumaren was officially "on leave."

Then still known as Globalport, the team faced uncertainty with star guard Terrence Romeo dealing with injury and his recovery a mystery.

Even with two star scorers in Romeo and Stanley Pringle, Globalport was a fringe playoff team at best. That's what they looked like in the past.

They looked like legit playoff contenders without Romeo ironically as the Batang Pier made a strong run in the All-Filipino with a rugged style heavily influence by Jarencio.

With Terrence returning towards the end of the elimination round, it appeared that Globalport was ready to shock quite a few teams in the playoffs.

They didn't.

Global lost a close one to Magnolia in the quarterfinals and Romeo and Jarencio went at it mid-game on the bench.

Whoops.

The Batang Pier would eventually deal Romeo to TNT for Mo Tautuaa. It solved immediate issues for both teams and it looked like a win-win for both teams.

Jury is still out on that but one trade the Batang Pier definitely lost was the Kelly Nabong-Gabby Espinas swap.

Nabong, who revived his career in the Philippine Cup, emerged as a solid contributor for the loaded Beermen. Espinas meanwhile, remains stuck on the bench even though he finally got out of San Miguel.

A frontline rotation of Nabong, Tautuaa, and Sean Anthony would have flourished under Jarencio. Add Pringle and Jonathan Grey in there and that's a pretty good team. Too bad the Batang Pier gave up on Nabong so quickly.

Now rechristened as Northport, the team will move forward to a new season. The Batang Pier has an actual star in Pringle, and they should work on surrounding him with as much solid pieces as they can.

Northport has an identity with Jarencio in charge and Pringle leading the team on-court. Maybe an offseason can help them refine their rugged style.

The Batang Pier are not a bad team, that's for sure. They just need a couple of things to fall into place in order to have time to go for a swim instead of sinking so fast.

 


Globalport/Northport BATANG PIER in the 2017-2018 PBA Season


Philippine Cup: 5-6 (7th place)

Commissioner's Cup: 5-6 (8th place)

Governors' Cup: 2-9 (11th place)


Overall: 12 wins 21 losses. Two playoff appearance, both QFs.

 


POST DRAFT NOTE:

Northport added Robert Bolick in the Draft to pair with Stanley Pringle.

Will this new combo be better than Stanley and Terrence? Sure looks like it.

Bolick should fit better with Pringle and Babes' incredible winning mentality from San Beda could be the key to unlocking the Batang Pier's potential.

Northport could make a splash next year.

 


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Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8

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