Guard Terrence Romeo led GlobalPort to a 97-75 victory over Mahindra on Friday, in their first game in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Season 42 Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.
Romeo notched 29 points including 10 in the fourth quarter plus six assists while fellow guard Stanley Pringle contributed 16 points, eight rebounds and five assists.
“It’s just my lucky day. I’m thankful my shots are going in,” said Romeo, who shot 9-of-13 shooting in the field including four triples and seven free throws. “The credit also goes to my teammates for playing as a team.”
Big man JR Quinahan, who was acquired via recent trade from Rain or Shine, finished with 10 points and seven rebounds. Nino Canaleta and Gilas Pilipinas rookie Von Pessumal posted nine and eight points, respectively, also for the Batang Pier.
It was a good start for GlobalPort’s new head coach Franz Pumaren, also the mentor of Adamson University in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines. This is the second professional basketball coaching stint for Pumaren who also mentored AIR21 Express in 2014.
The Batang Pier established a comfortable 24-9 lead at the end of first quarter with Romeo, Pringle and Canaleta leading the charge. They sustained their offensive in the second and third period stretching the gap to 70-45.
GlobalPort’s lead swelled too big in the fourth canto for Mahindra to overcome.
“Mahindra is just like us,” said Pumaren during the postgame interview. “They’re just adjusting to each other. We’re still groping for form. Last conference, I was already onboard as a consultant I’m just here on a transition basis.”
“The management wants me to bring what I accomplished in the UAAP. Now, it’s still a long way, we have seven to eight players. This is entirely a new GlobalPort team. The players I have right now is part of my wish list,” he added.
“Any team can get a coach from the UAAP as long as they are not actively coaching from any team there,” said PBA Commissioner Chito Narvasa.
Alex Mallari led Mahindra with 17 points and nine rebounds, while big man Jason Deutchman added 14 points. Reden Celda and Jeckster Apinan scored 10 points each also for the Floodbuster.
Gilas Pilipinas rookie Russel Escoto in his PBA debut, finished with six points and four rebounds for Mahindra.
GlobalPort posted more rebounds (56-40), assists (18-12), blocks (5-1) and three-pointers (12-5) than Mahindra.