NorthPort averted a huge meltdown from happening as it withstood Rain Or Shine, 99-94, to start off its 2019 PBA Governors’ Cup campaign on a winning note Friday evening at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
Mychal Ammons paced NorthPort with 25 points, 19 rebounds, and four assists in his first game back since 2016.
Rookie Robert Bolick, who had just turned 24 years old last week, seemingly carried over his fine play with Gilas Pilipinas in the FIBA World Cup as he finished with 20 points, five rebounds, four assists, and two blocks.
The two came up big down the stretch when the Elasto Painters came back from a 46-70 third quarter deficit.
When Rain or Shine knocked to within four, 87-91, with 2:35 to go in the final frame behind Rey Nambatac, Ammons and Bolick connived for six straight points to widen NorthPort’s lead anew, 97-87, with 59.1 seconds left.
The Elasto Painters, though, came back one last time and got to within just three points following Ping Exciminiano’s lay-up, but Bolick calmly canned his freebies with three ticks left to shut the door close and settled the final count.
“Pangit ‘yung ending … Siyempre ‘di mo rin pwede ibalewala ‘yung kabilang team. Marunong din mag-shoot ‘yan. Tapos nagtu-turnover kami, ‘di kami nakaka-shoot eh sila nakaka-shoot. But a win is a win,” said coach Pido Jarencio.
NorthPort managed to win even without team captain Sean Anthony, as he is still recovering from the removal of bone spurs in his left ankle. The veteran forward went under the knife shortly after the 2019 Commisioner’s Cup.
Joel Wright, who like Ammons is making his return after three years, led Rain or Shine with 22 points and 14 rebounds.
Sophomore Nambatac produced 19 points, six rebounds, five assists, a steal, and a block, James Yap supplied 15 points, while Beau Belga chipped in 11 markers, four boards, four dimes, two blocks, and a steal in the defeat.
NorthPort (1-0) will next face defending champs Magnolia Hotshots next Friday, September 27, while Rain or Shine (0-1) takes on Columbian Dyip (1-0) on Wednesday, September 25. Both games are at SMART Araneta Coliseum.
NorthPort (99) – Ammons 25, Bolick 20, Ferrer 12, Lanete 8, King 8, Cruz 6, Tautuaa 5, Taha 4, Elorde 4, Escoto 4, Mercado 3.
Rain or Shine (94) – Wright 22, Nambatac 19, Yap 15, Belga 11, Norwood 7, Mocon 7, Daquioag 5, Ponferada 3, Torres 3, Exciminiano 2, Rosales 0.
Quarterscores: 29-13; 58-38; 83-66; 99-94.
Mbala’s double-double not enough to lift Cameroon past Ivory Coast in Afrobasket
John Fields to replace Sam Deguara in Alab
Thirdy Ravena says brother Kiefer eased his transition to Gilas
Brownlee-less Alab Pilipinas vent ire on Saigon for bounce back win
Mac Cardona figures in brawl in BGC
Dennis Uy vehemently denies backing DLSU Green Archers
UAAP postpones all sporting events after February 14
Jaja Santiago becomes first Filipino spiker to cop medal in foreign league
No homecourt, no problem as Makati eliminates Bulacan in MPBL North QF
Manila Stars weather Robbie Manalang heater, punch MPBL North semis ticket
Batangas exacts vengeance on Zamboanga, sends MPBL South series to win-or-go-home
Bicol Volcanoes stun Davao Occi, force do-or-die MPBL South QF tilt
- Basketball3 days ago
Joshua Ramirez decommits from Letran, moves to La Salle
- Basketball5 days ago
Gab Banal, Bacoor have sight set on MPBL South semis, romp GenSan
- 2021 FIBA Asia Cup5 days ago
Four Blue Eagles, Juan GDL complete Gilas team vs Indonesia in FIBA ACQ
- ADMU5 days ago
Ateneo Grade School retires Nieto twins’, Thirdy Ravena’s numbers