NorthPort team manager Bonnie Tan refused to take most of the credit in his role as interim coach during the Batang Pier’s 98-73 victory over the Blackwater Bossing.
Tan said coach Pido Jarencio and his staff had plenty of imprint in the lopsided win despite their absence from NorthPort’s first PBA Philippine Cup match in Bacolor, Pampanga.
Jarencio and assistants Rensy Bajar, Jeff Napa and Jaren Jarencio are still under quarantine as they continue to recover from COVID-19.
“Actually, sila pa rin ang nag-coach ngayon,” said Tan after the game held Thursday, Sept. 9 at the Don Honorio Ventura State University.
“They did a good job at yung mga scouting report nila nasunod. I just did my part to replace them sa ngayon,” added Tan, who two years ago coached Letran to an improbable NCAA championship run.
He also praised the players for being on their toes once they were cleared to practice after failing to see action in the first week of the restart due to the league’s health and safety guidelines.
The Batang Pier registered their second win in five matches behind a huge third quarter sparked by Robert Bolick, who had eight of his 17 points in that period.
Also instrumental were Sean Anthony, Kevin Ferrer and Greg Slaughter while rookie Jamie Malonzo continued his strong play.
“I was impressed na how dedicated yung mga players natin,” Tan said. “Even without a coach, nakita ko how dedicated sila mag-usap-usap, mag-execute ng coaches’ practice plan. So nakita ko kaagad ‘yung pagiging positive nila and talagang confident ako na going to this game na our leaders, Kevin, Sean, Robert, Greg can surpass this game na ito.”
The result is a good start for the Batang Pier, who are set for a busy schedule this weekend with games against the Terrafirma Dyip and the NLEX Road Warriors.
As for the possible return of Jarencio and company, Tan gave no definite timetable but assured that they’ll be back in due time.
“Soon. Mabilis naman sila makarecover,” Tan said.