NorthPort has entered the 2019 PBA Governors’ Cup quarterfinals after sneaking past Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, 98-96, Sunday evening at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.
The Batang Pier nearly lost hold of a 93-87 lead with less than five minutes left in the final frame, however. The Gin Kings knocked to within a solitary point, but the breaks of the game went Northport’s way.
Paolo Taha first split his freebies with 1.1 seconds left to play. NorthPort then prevented the Barangay from making the most out of the eight-tenths of a second they had to secure the victory.
“A win is a win. One point, two points, three points, basta blessing na nanalo tayo. At least we’re in the quarters,” said coach Pido Jarencio. “We’ll be ready against the twice-to-beat team.”
The Batang Pier finished their elimination round campaign with a 5-6 win-loss record. They also made it to the quarterfinals for the third consecutive time this season.
“At least, for the whole season, lagi tayong nasa quarters, okay tayo doon. ‘Yun lang, kailangan mag-step up, mag-elevate naman sa second round, which is semis. ‘Yun ang goal,” he added.
Michael Qualls powered the Batang Pier with 30 points, 13 rebounds, five assists, three steals, and two blocks.
Sean Anthony provided 18 points, six boards, six dimes, and five steals. Christian Standhardinger produced 17 points and 11 caroms, while Kevin Ferrer chimed in 11 markers in the win.
“I give it to the players, gusto nila eh,” Jarencio said. “Ang hirap kalaban ng Ginebra. Kumpleto, organisado, sistemado, magaling ‘yung coach. Naka-ano lang tayo, breaks of the game.”
Justin Brownlee had 31 points and nine rebounds to lead Ginebra, who failed to secure the third seed. It now awaits the result of the TNT-San Miguel match on Wednesday for its seed.
Brownlee still had a chance to give Ginebra the lead with less than 10 seconds left, but his fadeaway jumper was overcooked. Japeth Aguilar tried to put it back but he missed as well.
Stanley Pringle had 18 points, while LA Tenorio chipped in 15 in the loss that dropped the Barangay at 7-4.
The Barangay’s loss hurts Rain or Shine, since it booted out the Elasto Painters of contention, sending their come-from-behind 83-81 win over the Meralco Bolts earlier to waste.
NorthPort 98 – Qualls 30, Anthony 18, Standhardinger 17, Ferrer 11, Taha 7, Cruz 6, Lanete 5, Mercado 2, Elorde 2, King 0.
Ginebra 96 – Brownlee 31, Pringle 18, Tenorio 15, Aguilar 14, Thompson 7, Chan 4, Dela Cruz 4, Devance 3, Mariano 0, Caperal 0.
Quarterscores: 20-29, 51-52, 75-73, 98-96.