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Jeric Fortuna makes comeback as NorthPort shores up depleted backcourt

Jeric Fortuna makes comeback as NorthPort shores up depleted backcourt

ONE of Pido Jarencio’s ‘favorite sons’ is making a comeback with NorthPort Batang Pier.

Jeric Fortuna has joined the team in practice and could be activated in time for its PBA Governors Cup game against Magnolia Pambansang Manok on Saturday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The absence of star player Stanley Pringle and the various injuries that decimated the team’s backcourt roster had the Batang Pier seeking help elsewhere.

Good thing, the 26-year-old Fortuna is ready to take on the job despite recently pursuing his dream to become a pilot.

NorthPort has included Fortuna’s name in its lineup before the 12 p.m. Friday deadline in the hope he’d already be eligible to play against the Hotshots in their 4:30 p.m. game on Saturday.

Fortuna, who played five years for Jarencio at University of Santo Tomas from 2008 to 2012, began practicing with the Batang Pier after they lost their second straight game on Sunday against Phoenix Fuel Masters. 132-91.

He is expected to play significant minutes tending the NorthPort backcourt in the absence of injured Jeric Teng and the hurting Nico Elorde.

Pringle is still with the national team in Jakarta for the 18th Asian Games.

His stint with the Philippine squad could be further stretched if coach Yeng Guiao will opt to make him the national team’s naturalized player for the coming window of the Fiba World Cup qualifiers.

Also out is injured do-it-all big man Sean Anthony.

With a depleted roster, the Batang Pier began the season-ending meet with a 0-2 card.

In his five-year stay with UST as Jarencio’s starting point guard beginning his sophomore season, Fortuna made the Final Four three times and played in the finals during his last season when the Tigers were swept by the Ateneo Blue Eagles.

The 5-foot-8 guard was selected in the second round, 14th overall, by Barako Bull in the 2013 draft. After a season with the team, he was traded to San Miguel for Paolo Hubalde and went on to win two championships with the Beermen.

He also had stints with Barako and Globalport after being traded by the Beermen.

Fortuna last played competitive basketball in the Asean Basketball League with Alab Pilipinas.