In a match that many expected to go down the wire, the GlobalPort Batang Pier made quite a surprise as they earned an impressive end-to-end victory over the TNT Katropa, 99-84, Wednesday evening at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.
The Batang Pier improved to 4-4, while the Katropa lost their third straight and dropped to 4-6.
“Siguro, we started aggressive,” opined GlobalPort head coach Pido Jarencio. “Kasi yung mindset namin is TNT played three games last week, ‘di ba? Sunod-sunod din sila eh. So let’s take that advantage na i-push lang ng push.
“Yung players gusto rin makapasok ng playoffs eh,” he added.
Six Batang Pier finished in double figures in the win, with Nico Elorde leading the pack with 17 points on top of seven rebounds and seven assists. Stanley Pringle had a double-double of 16 points and 10 caroms with three steals.
The match became a GlobalPort show when the Batang Pier opened the match with a stunning 21-3 rally behind the efforts of Elorde, Pringle, Jonathan Grey, and Kelly Nabong, leaving the Katropa shocked and reeling to the ground.
GlobalPort’s lead ballooned to as much as 30 points, 67-37, after Elorde’s bucket with 9:29 in the third chapter.
The Katropa tried to climb back from the deep deficit in the payoff period. Thanks to an 8-0 run punctuated by Jayson Castro’s triple, the Texters were able to knock to within just 10, 84-94, with 2:33 remaining.
Unfortunately, that was TNT’s final hurrah, as Grey’s three straight points — behind a split and a lay-up off a Katropa turnover — in response to the opposition’s rally shut the door close and helped the Batang Pier seal the win.
Bradwyn Guinto had 12 points and 10 rebounds for GlobalPort. Towering center Yousef Taha scored 11, while Nabong and Grey supplied 10 markers apiece, with the former adding nine rebounds.
Castro led TNT — who are still without forward Troy Rosario — with 24 points and four assists. Kelly Williams had 21 points and 12 rebounds, while Roger Pogoy finished with 14 markers on 14 shots. Harvey Carey made 10 and seven.
GlobalPort will next face the Magnolia Hotshots this Friday, February 16, 7:00 PM still at the Big Dome, while TNT will look to save their Philippine Cup versus sister team NLEX Road Warriors on February 28, Wednesday, 4:30 PM at the Mall of Asia Arena
Globalport 99 — Elorde 17, Pringle 16, Guinto 12, Taha 11, Grey 10, Nabong 10, Teng 9, Araña 6, Gabayni 6, Sargent 2, Anthony 0, Flores 0, Juico 0.
TNT 84 — Castro 24, Williams 21, Pogoy 14, Carey 10, Tautuaa 8, Semerad 3, Garcia 2, Reyes 2, Paredes 0, Torres 0.
Quarterscores: 34-12, 61-36, 79-64, 99-84.