Fresh off a 2-game losing streak and facing the prospect of losing Stanley Pringle for the next couple of weeks, the GlobalPort Batang Pier had to do something.
So they unloaded their 2018 second draft pick — a pick that, at best, can turn out to be Kib Montalbo or Kyles Lao, but, in all probablity, will be Rhanzelle Yong, Javee Mocon, Anton Asistio, or Andrew Harris — in exchange for former UST Growling Tiger and 2-time PBA champion (thank you, SMB) Jeric Fortuna.
Head-shaker? Not exactly headline material? That may be so, but only till you realize that Fortuna is finally going to play for a coach who, as history has proven, can bring out the best in him.
You see, Fortuna was at his very best when he played for coach Pido Jarencio at UST. In his final 2 UAAP seasons, Fortuna averaged around 11 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists (he led the league in Season 75), 1 steal, and 1 triple per game, hitting about 27% of his 3-balls and 36% of his field goals.
In his 1st 3 pro seasons, Fortuna has been a little bit underutilized, norming just around 5 points, 2 rebounds, and 1 assist per game in under 15 minutes of action per contest. Before today, he wasn’t even playing 3rd fiddle for Phoenix. He plays behind RR Garcia, Josh Urbiztondo, and Chico Lanete.
Now, however, he has a clear shot to make something of himself with the Batang Pier. Until Pringle returns, and he probably won’t even be 100% when he does, Fortuna can shape his destiny alongside rookie Roi Sumang.
Of the 2, Fortuna is the more level-headed and versatile playmaker. Fortuna is not as streaky from long distance, but he’s definitely more consistent. Coach Pido knows what he is getting with Fortuna, and coach Pido knows which buttons to push to get his former collegiate PG up to speed and working wonders.
And, again, what did they lose?
It was a sneaky good transaction for a team on the verge of a tailspin, so this could work out very very well for both Fortuna and GlobalPort. — By Enzo Flojo