Unbeaten B-Pier, katropa clash

Sol Mercado
Sol Mercado of Ginebra goes for a basket against two Meralco defenders during their game on Sunday night. The Gin Kings won this one. (PBA Images)

TWO teams enjoying one of their hottest starts collide today in a battle where the winner gains a piece of the lead with another hot team in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.

NorthPort and Talk ‘N Text meet in the 4:30 p.m. opening tussle of an explosive doubleheader that will also see Alaska play NLEX in the 7 p.m. main offering resuming  the elimination round at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Even without top gunner  Stanley Pringle, the Batang Pier showed excellent offensive in their first two wins in the midseason conference.

The Batang Pier launched their campaign with a 103-81 spanking of Alaska last May 22 in a victory where import Prince Ibeh, Mo Tautuaa, Jonathan Grey, Sean Anthony and Robert Bolick  all delivered on offense.

Practically the same people, with the addition of Paolo Taha, stepped up next time around to help NorthPort outplay NLEX, 83-79, for a 2-0 start.

However, NorthPort coach Pido Jarencio isn’t exactly relishing those twin victories, especially with the way the Batang Pier handled the Road Warriors who played all-Filipino after their supposed import, Tony Mitchell, failed to secure working permit in time from the Games and Amusement Board.

For one, Jarencio was visibly disappointed over the Batang Pier’s seeming overconfidence, and lack of coordination during the game – something they hope to correct in their game against the KaTropa.

“Ayaw kong sabihing nag-kompiyansa. Basta titingnan namin mga mali namin. Aayusin namin," said Jarencio.

“Di kami nag-e-execute ng tama, nag-kanya-kanya. Porke't walang import 'yung kalaban. ’Di dapat ganoon. Dapat nag-e-execute ka, tapos mindset mo is kung ano gameplan sundin," stressed Jarencio.

The KaTropa also won their first two games behind Terrence Jones’ spectacular plays, routing NLEX last May 22, 102-87, then stunned the Aces on May 25, 99-85.

“Our short-term goal is to win as much as possible especially in the early part of the conference,” said TNT coach Bong Ravena.

The winner between NorthPort and Talk ‘N Text will gain a piece of the lead with Blackwater, currently the hottest team after winning its first three games highlighted by an ego-boosting 108-107 win over Barangay Ginebra last Friday.