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GlobalPort survives Kia rally in conference opener

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The GlobalPort Batang Pier held off the Kia Carnival for a 100-89 victory earlier at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

Both squads relied on their reinforcements as CJ Leslie of GlobalPort filled up the stats sheet with 31 points, 14 boards, four assists, two steals, and five blocks. His Kia counterpart PJ Ramos amassed a game-high 41 markers to go with 20 rebounds and six dishes.


Early Carnival surge comes up short

Kia was off to a good start with a 5-0 run to open the Commissioner’s Cup. GlobalPort then equalized, the score tied at 10-10. Batang Pier enforced their full court trap that caught the Carnival off guard as they established an 11-point cushion.

Ramos led all Kia scorers in the opening canto with nine while Leslie of GlobalPort had 11 markers. GlobalPort ended the first quarter with a 10-point advantage via a huge 32-point output.


Batang Pier stabilizes

Early in the second period, GlobalPort stepped on the gas to lead by as much as 24 points in just four minutes of action. Kia didn’t give up the fight so easily as they managed to trim the lead back down to 14 before the end of the quarter. The Carnival relied on their outside shooting to keep themselves in the game.

The Romero-owned franchise duplicated their hot start in the second period to open the third quarter, reestablishing a 19-point lead, but again Kia was able to decrease the deficit to 12 by the end of the canto.


Diminishing lead

In the payoff period, Kia mounted a huge rally behind Ramos who scored 15 of his points in the final quarter. From 12 points down coming into the quarter, Kia allowed the Batang Pier to lead by as much as 19 once more but multiple post up plays trimmed the advantage to seven with five minutes left in the ball game.

Kia’s resurgence heavily relied on their outside shooting as they shot five more three-pointers than GlobalPort. However, they shot just 37.5% from beyond the arc compared to their opponent’s 51% clip.

“Thankful ako nagdeliver,” were the quick words of GlobalPort head coach Eric Gonzales regarding his team whom he said had been training since December.

GlobalPort and Kia will have their next assignments on Friday against Purefoods and Meralco respectively at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City.

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