(UPDATED) Things are looking bleak these days for the GlobalPort Batang Pier, and their import Walter Sharpe isn’t helping any – both on and off the court.
With the Batang Pier already mired in the cellar with a woeful 2-7 slate in the ongoing PBA Commissioners Cup, the 6-foot-9 Sharpe gave the team another problem after he was literally caught napping.
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A stunning photo of the 6-foot-9 import showing him sleeping in a parking area along Ortigas Center in Pasig City early Monday morning - just hours after his dismal showing against the Alaska Aces - made the social media rounds Monday afternoon, forcing top officials to call an urgent meeting.
Sharpe, who fouled out with just two markers and five rebounds in their 85-93 defeat against Alaska Sunday, his second game since replacing defense-minded import Justin Williams, suffers from narcolepsy, a sleeping disorder that causes excessive sleepiness. He was apparently alone when he fell asleep in the parking lot.
Sought by Yahoo! Philippines to comment Monday night, GlobalPort coach Junel Baculi admitted he has already seen the photo but stated he’s still in shock.
“Right after our game (against the Aces), he even approached me at the parking lot and told me he will do better next time. He even apologized about his game,” he related. “But after that (conversation), I really don’t know kung ano ang nangyari sa kanya.”
Sharpe was brought in to provide the Batang Pier a needed offensive lift, notably in the crunch, while easing the load normally shouldered by the team’s dreaded “MMDA”–Sol Meracdo, Willie Miller, Gary David and Japeth Aguilar.
But after sizzling with 24 points and nine rebounds in their 94-106 loss against Air21 last March 10, the Alabama-Birmingham native was nowhere to be found against the Aces, even getting called for his sixth and final foul with 4:23 left.
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That compounded the troubles of the Batang Pier, who are now trying to stop a six-game losing skid and avoid another early exit.
“It’s a very unfortunate incident. Nagpalit nga kami ng import and we’re hoping na for the better. Kaso hindi ganun ang nangyayari sa ngayon,” rued Baculi.
The 6-foot-10 Williams, now playing with the San Miguel Beer in the ASEAN Basketball League, has emerged as a defensive demon with averages 18 rebounds and 4.6 blocks on top of 13.4 points in five outings with the Batang Pier.
Baculi also stated he is set to meet team manager BJ Manalo Monday night to “talk about what measure we’re gonna make for that matter. We’re hoping to come up with a solution or find some remedy.”
Are they considering giving Sharpe the pink slip?
“It depends on what direction the management will take,” Baculi answered.
With the elimination round now entering its homestretch, GlobalPort needs to rack up as many wins it can in its last five assignments and Baculi is keeping his fingers crossed, saying: “We’re hoping na makahabol pa rin kami. Last five games na lang and it will start on Saturday (against Air21). One game at a time lang,” he stated.