NORTHPORT against Columbian Dyip. Robert Bolick versus CJ Perez. Coach Pido Jarencio against former assistant coach Johnedel Cardel.
These storylines are enough to make tonight’s PBA Philippine Cup game between NorthPort and Columbian exciting enough to watch at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.
The game is set at 4:30 p.m. with the Batang Pier seeking a third straight win that would put them in a two-way tie for the top spot with Phoenix Pulse and the Dyip gunning for a second win in three matches that would put them back on the winning track.
“Two-zero (record), pero malayo pa. But this is a big morale booster for the team, sa mga players, sa coaching staff, sa lahat,” said NorthPort coach Pido Jarencio after the Batang Pier’s 95-90 winover NLEX..
“Matibay-tibay na team na yung tinalo namin,” added Jarencio.
“We’re not that strong yet. If we play together malakas kami. If not, wala kaming chance manalo,” said Cardel, who once served as assistant coach of Jarencio in the Batang Pier.
“Kompiyansa sila (NorthPort) ngayon, pero it’s more of mind-set ng mga players. Sabi ko sa kanila, if we don’t play as a team, play together in defense, back to old story (of us hardly winning). Naka-focus naman,” added Cardel.
The highly-anticipated match will also pit Bolick, three-time NCAA champion with San Beda University and last year’s No. 2 pick overall by NorthPort, against Perez, a former NCAA MVP with Lyceum of the Philippines and the No. 1 pick overall by Columbian.
This will be the first time that Bolick and Perez will face off since their colorful NCAA rivalry that saw the Red Lions beat the Pirates twice in the finals.
Bolick had 26 points and missed just two shots in his first PBA game but was limited to just 14 points on 4-of-10 shooting and committed seven turnovers in NorthPort’s 95-90 win over NLEX last Sunday.
Perez also didn’t fare as well in his second game.
After scoring 26 points in his pro debut, the “Baby Beast” had 10 points, eight rebounds, six assists and two blocks but shot just 3-of-11 from the field in their 98-108 setback to Phoenix.
In the second game, San Miguel Beer tries to sustain its momentum when it takes on Meralco at 7 p.m.
After dropping their opening game in the season to Columbian, San Miguel bounced back strong to beat Barangay Ginebra, 99-91, behind Christian Standhardinger’s 26 points.
“Ang ganda ng idinepensa namin against Ginebra. If we can continue to play like that, maganda ang tsansa namin ,” said San Miguel coach Leo Austria.
Terrence Romeo, however, remains as game-time decision with the ankle sprain sustained in his debut versus Ginebra.
Meralco also droppe d its season opener 92-93 to Phoenix, but recovered to roll back Blackwater, 99-94.