Batangas stint opportunity to play, improve for Forrester

James Forrester. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.net

James Forrester didn’t deny that he saw his two-game loan from GlobalPort to Batangas as a demotion.

“To be honest, my initial thoughts were a little negative,” he said.

But that changed quickly knowing he has coach Eric Gonzales still on his side.

“That faded away when I went home and thought about it. Coach Eric and I go a long way since our days in Arellano and I know that he’s always looking for my best interest and it was his way of helping me to get some games in. I haven’t been much playing time in the last four years so getting any kind of games in, any kind of minutes is only a positive thing,” he said.

“It’s an opportunity to play, an opportunity to better myself, and focus on the things I need to work on. It’s not really a redemption thing. It’s all part of the process and for me trying to grow.”

Unfortunately, it was a forgettable debut for Forrester, who tallied five points and two rebounds but committed five turnovers in the Batangueños’ 70-66 loss to Cignal HD  in the 2017 PBA D-League Foundation Cup on Thursday.

The Fil-Canadian guard’s biggest gaffe came in the final minute, when he threw an errant pass which was easily intercepted by Pamboy Raymundo with the Hawkeyes leading by just two points.

Forrester owned up to his mistakes and understood that he had a bigger role in Batangas compared to the job he has with the Batang Pier.

“Unfortunately, today I felt I lost the game for them. I didn’t realize how much I have to be a leader for this team. I haven’t been in this position for a while, so I have to lead this team, offensively, defensively, and leadership-wise, be vocal with the guys,” he said.

The 27-year-old then vowed to come out stronger in Batangas’ game against Tanduay next Thursday.

“There is pressure, but I just want to help this team as much as I can. I know most of the players and I know most of them are trying to get to the PBA. I don’t want to come here and step on anyone’s shoes. Technically, I have a contract and these guys are trying to get a contract so I don’t want to be in the way of these guys getting to the PBA,” he said.

“I just want to bounce back next game and hopefully, get them a win.”