Batang Pier’s name change from GlobalPort to NorthPort signals a new era for the Mikee Romero-owned franchise.
But before we look into the future of the team, let us take a look back at GlobalPort’s best moments during their almost six-year stint in the PBA.
5. First PBA win
After a 0-3 start and an injury to star player Gary David, things weren’t looking particularly bright early on for GlobalPort’s maiden campaign in the PBA. But on their fourth game of the season, on October 17, 2012, the Batang Pier were finally able get a taste of victory when they overcame a 14-point deficit en route to a 105-104 victory over the Meralco Bolts. The Batang Pier were led by a 35-year old Willie Miller and a rookie, Jason Deutchman, who scored 33 and 20 points respectively.
It was GlobalPort’s only win for the entire conference. They finished with a 1-13 record.
4. Winning the draft lottery
After a dismal first two seasons in the PBA, a ray of hope shone down upon the franchise when they won the rights for the first pick in the 2014 draft. The team used the pick to select former Pennsylvania State University player Stanley Pringle. With a young Terrence Romeo already on-board alongside a total roster overhaul, the Batang Pier’s outlook was finally trending up. They finished the 2014-15 season with two playoff appearances while also attaining their most wins in a conference with seven during the Governor’s Cup.
Although the team has had limited success since then, Pringle has turned out to be one of the most dynamic players in the PBA today. With Terrence Romeo now gone, he will be tasked to lead this new era for the NorthPort franchise.
3. Stanley Pringle scores 50 points
To seemingly make his claim as GlobalPort’s franchise player official after the Terrence Romeo trade, Stanley Pringle erupted for 50 big points in a 133-115 victory over the Columbian Dyip in the elimination round of the recently-concluded Commissioner’s Cup. The Fil-Am guard was simply on fire throughout the game. He scored 25 points in each half, anchored on nine three-pointers and 60% shooting from the field.
It was the first 50-point game in the PBA by a local player since Asi Taulava scored 51 points for Talk N’ Text against Purefoods in 2004. Pringle’s previous career-high was 30 points.
2. First semis appearance
After an encouraging 2014-2015 season, the GlobalPort Batang Pier continued their rise in the PBA by booking their first franchise semifinals appearance during the 2015-16 Philippine Cup. They defeated fan-favorites Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, 84-83, in the quarterfinals behind the dynamic Pringle-Romeo duo.
Unfortunately for GlobalPort, they lost the best-of-seven series against the Alaska Aces in five games. The franchise has not come close to reaching the semifinals again since.
1. Terrence Romeo scores 41 points in the semis for GlobalPort’s first and only semis victory
In his first ever PBA semifinals game, Terrence Romeo — already one of the most popular players in the PBA then — saw his star rise to even greater heights when he scored 41 points in a 107-93 victory against the top-seeded Alaska Aces. The 23-year old Romeo puzzled the Aces defense all game long with dizzying dribble moves, crafty finishing inside, and incredible outside shooting.
All these are now a part of the franchise’s history books. Let us hope that the NorthPort Batang Pier can build on these and give us PBA fans more and maybe even better moments in the future.