MANILA, Philippines – Not many saw NorthPort as a contender for the conference, and this label was still a common force in San Miguel, Magnolia and Ginebra.
However, the Batang Pier appeared under the radar after a few moves, allowing them to form a remarkable lineup.
Christian Standhardinger entered the Governors' Cup late, and Batang Pier finally had its center in the center to play alongside wings and guards like Kevin Ferrer, Sean Anthony and Robert Bolick.
Bolick suffered an ACL injury in the elimination round, but despite the star rookie's absence, NorthPort drove to the semi-finals in four games, falling on Barangay Ginebra.
"We are still fine, in fact we have exceeded it," said Jarencio, whose squad secured the best placement in the quarter-final against NLEX after losing to the Gin Kings in Game 4 on Friday night in the Smart Araneta Coliseum on the Philippine side , "Nobody expected us to be here."
The semi-final of the Batang Pier was the longest they have reached this season after having played some quarter-finals in the first two conferences.
But NorthPort took a few bold steps to get to the semi-finals.
Batang Pier sent its franchise player Stanley Pringle to Ginebra for Ferrer, Jervy Cruz and Solomon Mercado for the first time before sending the promising great man Moala Tautuaa to Standhardinger in San Miguel late in the third conference.
And it doesn't seem that NorthPort is ready, but Jarencio leaves it to management as he is more concerned with getting the best out of his team.
"I can't say this is the management's call when it comes to change," said Jarencio. "We are always preparing for the next conference and whoever is in the lineup will fight."
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