Early in the game, GlobalPort’s halfcourt sets were mainly either Sol Mercado pick and rolls up top or Jay Washington post-isolations. We see later on that the Batang Pier consistently used picks up top with either Mercado, RR or Romeo as the ballhandler while moving away from post-isos in an attempt to make their offense faster and more fluid. We have to remember that the PBA Draft was on Nov. 3 and their first game took place on Nov. 20, so they had 17 days or less to get their act together. It’s good that they kept things simple for the mean time, but we have to expect them to progress onto more complicated plays as the season rolls along (some off ball screen action maybe?).
In the 1st quarter, there was a noticeable gap of offensive performance between both teams. Petron looked like a well-oiled machine dominating in the post, running the break for easy layups and knocking down long balls. On the contrast, GlobalPort looked like a lost ship in the ocean, they were making errand passes and were also hesitant taking shots. It was apparent that team chemistry just wasn’t there yet.
In my opinion, it can only get better from here. With more time to play and gel as a team, the less neophyte mistakes they will make. They will also get a feel of how certain teammates play e.g. where they like the ball or what they will do on a certain coverage. They also made only 3/22 (13.6%) shots from three, despite having some good shooters on their team (if you take out Sol, they were 1/16 from three. Romeo, Garcia and Belencion are better shooters than that for sure). Since Globalport is primarily a perimeter oriented team, I think its really important for Mercado, Garcia and Romeo to keep attacking and get to the hole. The drives to the basket could really help them get easy points and open things up for the three point shooters.
The GlobalPort defense was pretty horrible for most parts of the game, especially in transition. At times, Petron would just simply outlet to an open player on the other end after a made or missed shot from GlobalPort for an easy lay-up. They also had no answer for Fajardo, who looked like a grown man playing against kids (but in fairness, no one really has an answer for JMF). There was a play that Romeo got obliterated on a pick and no one was within 7 feet of the Petron layup, which really highlighted the lack of communication and chemistry on defense. Globalport has got to step it up and be more vocal on the defensive end.
One glaring thing defensively is that Globalport doesn’t really have that shotblocker/rim protector big to rely on and it will be tougher for them to win on a nightly basis without one. It isn’t impossible though, as they just have to rely on great team defense to make up for their lack of size.
What’s encouraging though is that according to the PBA commentator and courtside reporter Coach Ticzon wanted the team to focus on defense in the huddle and that defense is a main priority.
It was also interesting that Globalport almost made a comeback and a big part of it was the hustle and defense of Marvin Hayes. He was impressive getting rebounds, putbacks and blocks at the start of the third and might possibly get extra playing time.
Romeo was impressive in his debut in the PBA. It wasn’t overwhelmingly good but from what we saw in the game vs. Petron, he surely has a lot of potential and should be able to fit right into the pro league.
For those who followed T-Bill in the UAAP, you know this guy won’t lack confidence (which earned him the nickname Swaggy T). Romeo showed absolutely no fear as he drove into the behemoth that is June Mar Fajardo and got the foul call. He was also asking for clearouts against Lassiter and the league MVP Arwind Santos. While the confidence is impressive, it’s the fearlessness that made Romeo’s debut a successful one in my eyes.
Romeo will help this team a lot. What stood out for me in the game vs. Petron was his ability to get to the foul line. He shot 8 free throws (the most for a GBP player that night). GlobalPort could really use easy points and he can potentially be a guy that consistently gets to the line. Coming out of the UAAP, he was considered a good shot maker and a guy that could penetrate/attack inside. There was a bit of uncertainty if it would translate to the PBA but its not really a surprise that he could do both of those things at the PBA level.
Garcia had somewhat of a quiet debut. He was poised at all times and didn’t really do anything wrong. Everything he did was in the flow of the offense which was good. The ball is going to be in his hands a lot this season and he should get his scoring to go one of these days. In the UAAP, RR was one of the craftiest guards in the league and one of the best in pick and roll scenarios.
Salva had his moments on the court in the limited time he was given. The best one was when he drove to the hole and scored to beat the shot clock buzzer. I could picture him being a threat in the high post going forward as he can knock down that shot at the top of the key and it was money for him in the UAAP. Also, as a result of being a 3-4 hybrid, he could take slower forwards off the dribble and maybe post up smaller forwards. It was interesting that at times Salva was facilitating the offense in the high post, and this might be a trend going forward.
Around the 3 minute mark in the 4th quarter, I thought the game was pretty much over and wanted to see Chua play in garbage time. Ticzon chose not to clear out the bench and maybe thought it was better for the key players to gain some chemistry playing with each other. In any case, Fajardo was going to be a very tough matchup for Chua anyway so maybe that explains the lack of minutes. He could still emerge as a solid big at some point, so let’s wait and see
Keys to the game
Run like the wind
GlobalPort did have several fastbreak opportunities and you could see they really wanted to run. They only had 6 fastbreak tries though compared to Petron’s 10. They got 10 fastbreak points out of their 6 tries.
Petron dominated the rebounding battle 58-47. GlobalPort had trouble boxing out and keeping the Petron big men from getting the boards.
GlobalPort didn’t shoot well from three 3/22 (13.6%). They have the shooters though to bounce back from this bad shooting night.
Rome wasn’t built in a day and GlobalPort is going to go through some growing pains (or bro-ing pains) throughout the season. They have the tools though to be great and if fully healthy with Enrico Villanueva, this team could really be scary.
Until then, Globalport is going to be a guard/perimeter oriented team that runs a lot and shoots a lot of threes. They have Mercado and Washington to lean on, while also grooming a budding star in Swaggy T, Terrence Romeo. It’s safe to say that despite their loss, fans will surely continue to watch this exciting team.
Disclaimer: All videos are courtesy of PBAReplayTV/Sports5/PBA