#PBA2015 Roster Review: The GlobalPort Batang Pier

With the 2014-2015 PBA season’s official rosters released, I found it only logical to look at each line-up and see where each team stands. In this series of posts, I’ll be breaking down each team’s bigs, wings, and floor generals while also looking at what kind of damage they’ll do this season.

Let’s look at roster of the GlobalPort Batang Pier.

Can a loaded backcourt push the Batang Pier into the next tier?

Overall 2013-2014 Record: 7 wins and 26 losses.

Best Finish: Quarterfinals in the 2014 Philippine Cup.

BIGS: Mark Isip, Jewel Ponferada, Kelly Nabong, Noy Baclao, Yancy De Ocampo
- I honestly love the fact GlobalPort got Yancy De Ocampo. Sure, he’s in his mid-30s, definitely past his prime, and is really a poor man’s version of Mick Pennisi, but he gets a fresh start on a team that badly needed a solid man in the middle. Yancy will hardly be the stuff that All-Stars are made of, of course, but he will at least give coach Pido Jarencio the kind of ceiling he sorely lacked last season. Yancy played a career-low 11 minutes per game last season, putting up just 2 points and 3 rebounds per game while shooting 32% from the field. He probably will never play more than 20 minutes per game this season, but a three here or there and a sprinkling of rebounds should be par for the course.

- I’m hopeful that both Mark Isip and Noy Baclao can do something special for the Batang Pier. Here are two former college stars who have never really been able to translate their dominance to the pros, so I hope either (or both) of them gets the chance to really shine here. I mean, who else will do it, right? Ponferada and Nabong, meanwhile, will provide a lot of muscle for coach Pido. You know what Paulo Pe’s role was under him with the UST Growling Tigers? Yes, that’s what Ponferada and Nabong will be this season. Nabong, however, actually has the potential to be an impact player. He normed about 5 points and 5 boards in around 18 minutes per game for this team last season, so his per-minute stats aren’t bad by any measure. Give him around 25-30 minutes per contest, and Mikee Romero might have a diamond in the rough here. And his 82% FT shooting? Tied for fifth in the league.

When not hurting people, Kelly Nabong can be a solid PBA big.
(image by Pranz Kaeno Billones/Sports 5)

WINGS: Ronjay Buenafe, Jojo Duncil, Roider Cabrera, Keith Jensen
- Pido will probably know hot to maximize someone like Jojo Duncil, who played a career-low 6 minutes a game for San Miguel last season. Most have forgotten that this guy scored 9.0ppg back in 2011-2012, but, again, if anybody can bring out the best in Duncil, it’s his former college coach. He will have to alternate with Buenafe (and maybe even Terrence Romeo and Stanley Pringle) at the 2-spot, though, as Pido will probably like going small and taking advantage of his deep guard corps. Still, there really is no better place for Duncil at this point in his career.

- Jensen and Cabrera, meanwhile, form an interesting duo at the 3-spot. Both have the size, length, athleticism, and shooting to be competitive against anybody in the league at their position. Jensen showed some flashes of brilliance last season, while Cabrera is pretty much like a microwave oven from downtown. I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re given the licens to chuck it from long range with reckless abandon.

FLOOR GENERALS: Stanley Pringle, Terrence Romeo, Alex Cabagnot
- As promising as the wing players are for GlobalPort, though, it is this team’s backcourt that will do much of the heavy lifting. This is a three-headed monster that may, arguably, be the best-scoring guard trio by the end of the season. That won’t necessarily translate to a lot of wins for the Batang Pier, but, at least in terms of offense, they could have done a lot worse than having Pringle, Romeo, and Cabagnot.

Despite being a rookie, Stanley Pringle is expected to
be one of this team's leaders.
(image from the ABL)
- I suspect that coach Pido will do a lot of isolation plays or high ballscreens for Pringle, who thrives off the dribble and likes creating for himself. He has played with a solid playmaker in the past, however, (in the form of Indonesian Mario Wuysang), so having him at the off-guard position shouldn’t entail much adjustment either. Cabagnot, meanwhile, is the most natural PG off this bunch, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets a boatload of the minutes in the endgame. Romeo, meanwhile, will play the streaky third-wheel who can heat up in a snap. Think Monta Ellis circa 2007-2008 or JR Smith circa 2006-2007. Yes, he might also end up as a headcase, but I believe his crazy-awesome stint in the FIBA 3x3 this past offseason will temper his over-generous self-perception.

Terrence Romeo's offseason success should make
him even more confident in his sophomore season.
(image by Paul Ryan Tan/Sports 5)

Final Word: Streaky
- With such an explosive backcourt and human microwaves like Cabrera, Buenafe, and Jensen, the word of the season for coach Pido’s wards is STREAKY. Despite this team’s firepower, I doubt if they can consistently hold their own on defense or even get majority of the rebounds. With a shaky frontline and trigger-happy perimeter players, the Batang Pier will be very entertaining, but they probably won’t be serious contenders.

Next Post »
0 Comment