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Sep 13, 2020

NorthPort dreams big in PBA restart

NORTHPORT's PBA semifinals stint last season certainly deserves an encore.

Looking to parade a complete roster once the league resumes its 45th season, the Batang Pier are definitely looking to upend whatever they achieved last year as the team eyes no less than the Philippine Cup championship.

Team manager Bonnie Tan said the team is thrilled having back injured key players Robert Bolick, Jonathan Grey, and Bradwyn Guinto in the franchise's quest for a first ever PBA title.

"Hindi naman siguro masamang mag-ambisyon na baka lang maging pandemic champion dahil short conference lang, e," said Tan, appearing in the weekly sports show The Chasedown over ONE PH.

"Last conference nasa semis kami. So baka puwede nating ma-improve pag kumpleto kami."

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Bolick went down with an ACL injury early in the Governors' Cup, Grey suffered a tear in his right patellar tendon, while Guinto's knee injury kept him on the sidelines for most of last season.

Despite a depleted roster, the Batang Pier made it to the semis of the season-ending meet anchored on the workhorse effort of big man Christian Standhardinger and import Michael Qualls.

As the no. 8 seeded team, NorthPort stunned top seed NLEX by beating the Road Warriors twice in a row in the quarterfinals to arrange a semis series against Barangay Ginebra. The Kings exposed the worn-out Batang Pier though, by scoring a 3-1 win in their best-of-five duel.

But with Bolick, Guinto, and Grey finally back in active duty, the Batang Pier can't wait on what the future holds for them.

"Ang laking bagay yung binigay sa kanila na break na maka-recover agad," said Tan, obviously referring to the indefinite suspension of the season going for six months now following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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"Sabay na silang nagpa-practice sa amin ngayon," added the NorthPort executive, who is also the coach of reigning NCAA men's basketball champion Letran Knights. "Kumpleto na kami ngayon, kaya excited kami. Pati sila coach Pido (Jarencio) excited na for the coming conference." (RG)