MANILA, Philippines – The GlobalPort Batang Pier are ready to compete in the upcoming season of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), even if their superstar guard remains on the sidelines due to injury.
Terrence Romeo did not see action at all in the preseason for GlobalPort, as he continues to recover from a nagging knee injury that also kept him from playing for Gilas Pilipinas in the recent FIBA World Cup qualifying window.
Even without the high-scoring guard, Jarencio is confident that the Batang Pier will be able to compete in the upcoming All-Filipino Conference.
"Wala namang problema. If Terrence is ready, then the team is ready for him. Naka-prepare naman lahat kami," said Jarencio after a recent preseason game between GlobalPort and Magnolia.
"Kung si Terrence ay wala pa, we're still ready," he said. "Ang mga players, ready na rin naman lahat."
"Kaya pagdating ni Terrence, malaking bagay na makakatulong siya. Kung wala si Terrence, okay din kami, kasi ready kami."
Jarencio was encouraged by GlobalPort's performance in their preseason game against Magnolia last week, when they rallied from a 15-point deficit to come away with an 83-80 victory.
In Romeo's absence, Stanley Pringle stepped up and contributed 18 points and 10 assists. They also got solid games from veterans Ryan Arana and Kelly Nabong, as well as young guards Julian Sargent and Jonathan Grey.
"Meron ka nang nakikitang positive," Jarencio said of his team. "Iba 'yung nananalo ka eh. Iba 'yun. Kasi I'm building a culture dito, which is 'yung winning tradition. Kahit exhibition game, kailangan manalo kami."
Of course, GlobalPort would still much rather have Romeo, who averaged 23.1 points per game last year, back in the fold. According to Jarencio, Romeo should be back by January.
"Ang first game naman namin is December 25," said Jarencio. "For sure, ang second game namin is January na. Kung babalik si Terrence naman three weeks from now, okay pa rin kami, kasi siyempre, kailangan ma-kundisyon pa rin siya eh."
GlobalPort opens its campaign on Christmas Day, when it takes on NLEX at the Philippine Arena.
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