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Closing out games NorthPort’s problem, laments Sean Anthony

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Tiebreaker Times Closing out games NorthPort's problem, laments Sean Anthony Basketball News PBA  Sean Anthony PBA Season 44 Northport Batang Pier 2019 PBA Philippine Cup

After a 2-0 start in the 2019 PBA Philippine Cup, the NorthPort Batang Pier have been plummeting lately.

The Batang Pier have absorbed their sixth straight defeat in the conference after bowing to a hungry Magnolia Hotshots, 90-103, Wednesday night at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.

And for Sean Anthony, their recent struggles had been caused by their inability to close out games.

“The fourth quarter. It’s always been the fourth quarter. Every game, we’ve been up at some point and fall apart in the fourth,” rued Anthony, who finished with 22 points and eight rebounds.

“We have to close out games.”

That issue had been evident Wednesday.

The Batang Pier have already established a 79-69 lead late in the third quarter, only to squander it as the Hotshots made a 16-3 run to take an 85-82 lead early in the final frame.

NorthPort played catch-up ball and eventually tied the game at 89-all with 6:16 left, but Magnolia banked on their defense and pulled away with a 14-1 blitz en route to the 13-point win.

Making it even more bitter to fathom is that the Batang Pier got limited to just eight points in the fourth quarter, which has now become their lowest output in a quarter in franchise history.

“We always play the first three quarters really well and fall apart in the fourth,” lamented Anthony.

Still, Anthony believes that his team can figure things out, especially now that they have gone 4-5 and have to succeed in their remaining games as they aim to get into the next round.

“There’s some frustration and whatnot but I think we’re all still bonding together and there are still three games left so we still got a shot at this,” expressed the nine-year league veteran.

“We still have a good chance so we have to figure this out.”

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