A month ago, the Globalport Batang Pier were drowning deep in the 2017 Commissioner’s Cup. They were owning a dismal 2-6 win-loss record, and two more losses would have spelled the doom to their hopes of making it into the next round.
“Just last month, I think most of the basketball fans, they were thinking that we were ready to fold up and go on an early vacation,” said Batang Pier head coach Franz Pumaren of their dismal start.
But all of a sudden, their fortunes took a detour. After mixing and matching numerous imports and a four-team trade that bolstered their roster, they won two straight games. They then improved their card to 4-7, and gladly saw themselves in the running for the last playoff spot.
And on Sunday night, the Batang Pier, after all the obstacles, have reached their desired place, catching the last trip to the quarterfinals. And they did it at the expense of Calvin Abueva and the skidding Alaska Aces.
“I guess we surprised a lot of people. No one imagined us to be in this situation, that we’ll be playing in the quarterfinals,” described Pumaren of the seemingly-impossible climb his wards did just to get to the next round.
However, a daunting task is ahead for the veteran mentor and the Batang Pier, as they will face the top-seeded Barangay Ginebra San Miguel. A loss will be the end of the line for them, but Pumaren plans to absorb everything he can as he faces the winningest head coach in the PBA.
“It’s gonna be a tough series for us, just a one-day and we’re playing the number one team, the best team, the team that’s on a streak. Hopefully we can sustain the run,” hoped the current Adamson Soaring Falcons head mentor
“I think Ginebra is really peaking right, their team has been there for the longest time, while us, we’re still in the process of trying to feel each other. Hopefully, we can match up.
“Hopefully we can pull it through. It’s hard playing the best team, but it’s nice playing against Tim Cone. We will learn a lot,” Pumaren closed.