Head Coach: Yeah Yeah Junel Baculi
With an overall record of 7 wins and 31 losses last season (the worst), Justin Bieber simply sings the story of this franchise this season — “Nowhere but up, from here, my dear” couldn’t be more apt for the situation.
Biggest Questions of the Season
Team management has finally decided to part ways with Gary David, and Global Part seems to be going on a completely new direction with its youth movement. The departure of El Granada opens up the shooting guard and and small forward spots to the team’s new additions in Terrence Romeo, Nico Salva, and Leo Najorda. But will they be enough?
That seems to be one of the biggest questions for the team in a sneaky way this coming Philippine Cup. And the answer to that being positive or negative largely depends on whether Romeo, the reigning UAAP MVP, will be able to translate offensively in the PBA. There’s only so much you can expect out of Leo Najorda so the points that will come from the guard and forward positions shall be up to Bro. On the other side of the court, Romeo is lucky that he will be partnered with the biggest point guard in the league so Yeah Yeah Junel can easily hide him on defense by assigning Sol Mercado to guard the opponents’ shooting guards.
Another value to Sol’s size is that they would be able to play RR Garcia along with him. But in that situation, Sol will play the shooting guard position — something he’s familiar with (played SG with Chris Ross at PG over at Meralco).
The biggest question for the Batang Pier going into the Philippine Cup is will Sol Mercado and Jay Washington completely take over as superstars and leaders? Browse through their lineup and you won’t see one name who’s known to have leadership capabilities. Being undoubtedly the two best players of the team, Sol and Jay will have to both take on the leadership role. It’s their team now and the franchise will only go as far as them. And Global Port won’t go anywhere if these two don’t produce on both ends. The team has gaping holes at the SF (very questionable) and C (only utility guys at his position) positions when it comes to scoring so the two might have to put huge huge numbers this coming conference.
The Junemar Test
65/100. That’s an F!
There’s simply no stopping Junemar after what he showed last conference. But you’d be able to contain him with size and physicality on both the PF and C positions. You can only get those from the center position with Global Port. You have the Most Feared Man in the PBA (Kelly Nabong) teaming up with the former Most Badass Man in the league (Enrico Villanueva – just ask Joseph Yeo and the imports he stood up to) to challenge Junemar at the center slot. But you need both big men positions to have tough players to contain Fajardo. Yeah Yeah Junel simply ain’t getting the added size and physicality from Jay Washington and Nico Salva.
Apart from anticipating whether Yeah Yeah Junel will continue wearing those hideous shades that ironically make him look so cool every game, the tastiest side story for this team is how much spunk and attitude their rookies will bring to the table. Let’s face it, this team lack talent especially when you compare them on paper to the powerhouses like Petron, SMC, and TNT. It would be a nice side-dish for the fans to see Romeo, Garcia, Salva, and Chua collectively contribute heavily to the team.
Madame Auring says?
Let’s generously predict that Sol and Jay will have a combined average of 40 ppg. You think the rest of the team can average around 50 ppg combined to be able to compete in the Philippine Cup? I don’t think so. You have a gaping hole at the center and small forward positions in terms of offensive production. When you have PJ Simon, Marcio Lassiter, and Gabe Norwood as the third best player for their respective teams, there’s no way that you can count on Terrence Romeo at the two-guard spot to be the third best player on this team.
This team will again, at best, will bleed to make the playoffs.
Photos by Paolo Papa and Paul Ryan Tan of InterAksyon.com/InterAKTV
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