Things got heated between NorthPort head coach Pido Jarencio and Phoenix Pulse import Richard Howell during the Batang Pier-Fuel Masters match in the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup, Wednesday evening.
The two got into a verbal exchange with 8:44 remaining in the fourth quarter, while NorthPort import Prince Ibeh was shooting from the foul line. It was so heated that players and referees had to get in between to pacify things.
The seasoned mentor said that Howell cursed at him while he was instructing his center Mo Tautuaa on a play.
“May sinabi ako kay Mo, minura ako,” said a fuming Jarencio. “Minura niya ‘ko eh. Nagulat si Kevin kaya nilapitan siya ni Kevin (Ferrer). Ba’t ako minumura? Nagulat ako, ba’t ako minura? Eh may sinasabi lang ako kay Mo na play.
“Ba’t niya ‘ko mumurahin? Kaya si Kevin lumapit, ‘Coach minura ka eh.’ Kaya kami nagre-react. Ba’t niya ‘ko mumurahin?”
On the other hand, Kevin Ferrer confirmed that the former Best Import winner with the Talk N Text Tropang Texters cursed at Jarencio, his college coach for a few years in the UST Growling Tigers.
“Oo minura. Narinig ko. Siyempre ‘di ko naman masisita kung ‘di ginawa kay coach Pido,” said Ferrer, who was seen talking to Howell during and after the altercation that saw Jarencio and Howell slapped with technicals.
“Alam mo naman kahit sino – teammate ko, coaches, management – po-protektahan ko kahit anong mangyari.”
Howell respectfully declined to grant interviews from the press.
Still, the Fuel Masters came out of the SMART Araneta Coliseum with the 97-87 victory. For Jarencio, the loss – which snapped their four-game winning streak – was somehow due to the Batang Pier’s fault.
“We started too slow. Walang energy, execution wala. Defense masyandong malambot.
“Hindi pwedeng last two, three minutes, tsaka lang gigising. Dapat from the start. But at least naka-four straight, eh ‘di regroup na lang,” he said.