MANILA – Despite being selected third, Globalport import CJ Leslie proved he can help the team by showing an impressive performance against Kia’s 7’3” import PJ Ramos as the Batang Pier bested the Carnival, 100-89, in the first game of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the MOA Arena Tuesday night.
Leslie dominated the court with his 31 points and 14 rebounds to give Globalport a good start in the second conference of the PBA after landing in the eight spot during last season.
He also had five blocks, four assists, and two steals in 39 minutes of action, better than Ramos’ 41 points and 20 rebounds for Kia.
“We’re actually still in the honeymoon stage. But he showed he’s a smart, brilliant player,” said Globalport coach Eric Gonzales of Leslie
He added, “He had had only two practice games with us. He’s a bit off then as he’s still adjusting to the weather and the food. Thankfully, he delivered.”
Terrence Romeo and Stanley Pringle also combined for 38 points, 13 rebounds, and 10 assists to take away the game from Carnival.
Kia’s assistant coach Chito Victolero stepped in for playing couch Manny Pacquiao who’s in the US. He was assisted by newly appointed team consultant Joe Lipa.
Kia’s Mark Yee gave 15 points for his team, but Leslie was there to counteract their rally to propel Globalport to victory.
Ramos tried to break Leslie’s offense, but failed after an errant inbound, driving the Kia team on a four-minute drought spell, 85-92.
The Batang Pier outscored the Carnival, 28-14, during the first half. However, Ramos can be hard to contain once his team started to attack.