NorthPort rewrote the PBA’s history books following the humiliating 63-85 defeat it suffered in the hands of Meralco in the 2021 Philippine Cup opener, Friday.
According to the league’s stats chief Fidel Mangonon III, it was the Batang Pier’s lowest output in franchise history. They had five points less than the previous record they set in the Clark bubble last year. They suffered a narrow loss to Rain or Shine back on October 18, 68-70.
Such an atrocious performance could be attributed mainly to the way they shot the ball. Pido Jarencio’s wards went just 17-of-81 from the floor; they made 12-of-48 from the inside, and went 5-of-33 from beyond the arc.
The Mikee Romero-owned ball club’s 20.99-percent field goal shooting is the second all-time lowest in a game by any team.
The all-time lowest field goal percentage in a PBA game is 20-percent (16-of-80). Coca-Coca lost to Magnolia Beverage Masters, 78-60, in the deciding Game Three of their Fiesta Conference quarterfinal series in 2008.
Still, Meralco head coach Norman Black believes that this isn’t a reflection of how the Batang Pier would be moving forward into the season. For him, it would have been a different story had Greg Slaughter played.
The former Best Player of the Conference was actually in uniform. The coaches chose not to field him since he had just rejoined the team a day prior to the season opener, according to team manager Bonnie Tan.
NorthPort earlier acquired Slaughter from Ginebra via trade in exchange for Christian Standhardinger. The big man had worked out with his team last May before heading to the States last June for vaccination. He completed protocols last Wednesday.
“One of their best players did not play tonight, and that’s Greg Slaughter,” said Black.
“If Greg was out there, that’s a completely different story. It’s like playing against June Mar Fajardo. You really have to pay attention to him.”
If there’s anyone from Meralco who knows Slaughter a lot, that’s definitely Black, since they have shared triumphs in Ateneo back in the day. And so the decorated mentor expects the Batang Pier to become better with him in tow.
“They didn’t have Greg tonight, so I’m expecting when he starts playing with them, they’re going to be a much better team.”