Malcolm White couldn’t be prouder of the way his teammates stepped up in his absence, which ultimately led to GlobalPort Batang Pier upsetting the defending Commissioner’s Cup champs San Miguel Beermen, Wednesday evening.
The 6-foot-9 American was whistled for his second technical foul with 8:09 to go in the fourth, leading to an automatic ejection. White left the game with 25 points and 10 rebounds in the 34 minutes he saw action.
But his ejection only seemed to fire up GlobalPort instead.
With locals Stanley Pringle and Nico Elorde stepping up, the Batang Pier made their way back from a six-point deficit and walked away with a 98-94 victory in their bag.
“They played hard even though I was thrown out of the game,” lauded White. “I knew my team are going to continue to play hard because we worked hard this week in practice.
“We were determined to beat San Miguel.
“They just kept playing, they kept fighting. I believe in my teammates,” added the six-year pro cager. “I’m proud of my teammates. They played hard to get this win. We needed this win. It was a big win for us.”
But as much as he’s delighted with the result, the game also taught the 29-year-old White an important lesson: keeping his emotions in check.
“I was a little bit upset on the calls but it’s basketball. It’s just heat in the moment, you get fired up, you say things, do certain things so I’ve got to do a better job controlling my temper on the court too,” he reflected.
The Batang Pier have improved to 4-3 with the win. And as the elimination round nears its end, White and GlobalPort have their sights set on finishing with a good record, as they aim for a favorable spot in the playoffs.
“Going to this game, we weren’t thinking we’re gonna lose. We knew we needed this game. Now we can narrow it down to last three games. Hopefully, we can go undefeated and get a good spot in the playoffs.”