GlobalPort Batang Pier and Star Hotshots had contrasting results in their opening games.
Batang Pier started the season with a dominating 97-75 victory over the Mahindra Floodbuster. Romeo, eager to escort his team to finals dance, exploded for 29 points while his backcourt partner Stanley Pringle was two rebounds shy of a double-double with 16 points and 8 boards.
Star Hotshots began their first half duel versus reigning AFC champs San Miguel Beermen with 17 turnovers, with new recruits Paul Lee and rookie Jio Jalalon having the most with 5 and 3, respectively.
But in the second half, Star found their groove and started to hit shots to even lead the game in the early minutes of the payoff period but still came up short in the end. Thus, absorbing their 88-96 opening loss.
But the Hotshots management remains positive despite the defeat. To went on head-to-head with the reigning title-holders and even give a second half scare, Star Hotshots’ retooled squad looks very promising despite losing James Yap in a blockbuster trade.
“Konting gamay lang sa sistema. Marami kaming mabilis, maraming shooters.” said team manager Alvin Patrimonio.
“Looks very promising, kaya lang ang daming turnovers,” added team governor Rene Pardo.
The young backcourt of Star composed of Mark Barroca, Paul Lee, and rookie Jio Jalalon will have to do better job in taking care of the ball and in defending the explosive duo of Romeo and Pringle when they square-off on today’s second match at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum, which will commence at 7:00 p.m.