Coach Pido Jarencio is well aware that GlobalPort will kick off the first week of its PBA Commissioner’s Cup schedule with games against Mahindra, tournament favorite Barangay Ginebra and defending champion Talk ‘N Text.
But the outspoken GlobalPort coach chose to control what he can in his team, especially since import Brian Williams has just arrived in Manila on Thursday following a long, 35-hour trip from Uruguay.
“He (Williams) practiced today (Friday) And he’s coming from a 35-hour flight from Uruguay because he had to finish playing there first,” Jarencio told FOX Sports in Filipino, shortly after the team’s Friday afternoon practice.
Listed at 6-foot-9, the wide-bodied Williams is expected to bring solid rebounding, inside scoring and a menacing defensive presence for the Batang Pier, who reached the semifinals of the season-opening Philippine Cup recently.
It was actually the 1st semifinal stint for the GlobalPort franchise since joining the pro league in 2013.
“That’s what we lacked,” Jarencio said, referring to a solid man in the middle.
“Other teams have their imports already here since the Philippine Cup but for us, we still have to work with the locals jelling with our import.”
GlobalPort will be opening the import-spiced conference against Mahindra on February 12, followed by the team’s grudge match against Ginebra on Valentine’s Day.
The Batang Pier then clash with the Tropang Texters on February 19.
“I don’t want to comment on the schedule but the important thing for us is we work on our import’s adjustment with the team,” said the GlobalPort coach.
“At least, he’s conditioned already.”
The 28-year-old Williams is a familiar name for Filipino fans, having been an integral part of the San Miguel Beer team that swept the Indonesia Warriors, 3-0 in the Finals on the way to capturing the 2013 Asean Basketball League championship.
Williams is fresh from a stint with Atletico Bigua Montevideo in Uruguay’s pro league where he submitted double-double stats line of 14.9 points, 10.2 rebounds and 2.1 assists.
The hulking Williams, who played for Tennessee in college from 2007-2011, is a well-traveled pro baller, seeing action also for the KL Dragons during the 2011 ABL season, for Monteviedo in Uruguay 2013, and then for Argentina, Dominican Republic and back to Uruguay later on. — By Richard Dy