Continuing where they left off six days ago, the NorthPort Batang Pier collected their second straight win in the 2018 PBA Governors’ Cup, as they prevented the Meralco Bolts’ hijack attempt, 99-94, Friday evening at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
Three-pointers from Stanley Pringle and Sean Anthony inside the game’s final 52.3 seconds were enough to shut the door close for Meralco, who climbed back from as deep as 13 points to just two, 88-90, with two minutes left.
“The players really worked hard for this win. Offensively and defensively, wala ka masabi sa kanila,” said Batang Pier head coach Pido Jarencio.
Though he fouled out in the game’s waning seconds, Anthony topscored for NorthPort with 26 points on 8-of-14 shooting. Pringle, for his part, contributed 24 points on 50 percent shooting along with eight rebounds.
“Sila ang heart and soul ng team na ‘to,” said Jarencio of his veteran duo. “Nung nawala sila mahirap. Ngayon yung chemistry andyan na. Nakabalik sila, they’re healthy, and at the same tine nagco-compliment na sa iba.”
Import Rashad Woods had 20 points – which he all scored in the second half – on top of six rebounds and two dimes.
“Si Rashad Woods stepped up on the second half kasi zero siya nung first half eh,” lauded the veteran bench strategist. “Kinausap ko siya sa dugout, sabi ko we need more production from you. Buti naman, yun, nakatulong.”
Mo Tautuaa added 14 markers and eight caroms in the win.
Reigning Best Import Allen Durham had 37 points, 19 rebounds, and seven assists to carry Meralco, who are now in their worst slump in franchise history, according to the league’s chief statistician Fidel Mangonon III.
Sophomore guard Mike Tolomia supplied 18 points on 6-of-13 shooting for the Bolts. Chris Newsome provided 13 points, while Cliff Hodge chipped in 12 markers and 11 rebounds.
With the victory, the Batang Pier have improved to 2-6, and are still very much in the running for a playoff spot. The same could not be said to the Orangemen though, as they have dropped to a 1-6 record.
NorthPort will next battle the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters on October 17, Wednesday, at theCuneta Astrodome, while Meralco will play the NLEX Road Warriors next on Sunday, October 14, at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.
NorthPort 99 – Anthony 26, Pringle 24, Woods 20, Tautuaa 14, Elorde 4, Arana 4, Espinas 2, Gabayni 2, Javelona 2, Taha 1, Fortuna 0, Guinto 0, Grey 0.
Meralco 94 – Durham 37, Tolomia 18, Newsome 13, Hodge 12, Hugnatan 5, Salva 4, Canaleta 3, Caram 2, Lanete 0, Amer 0, Ballesteros 0, Atkins 0, Jamito 0.
Quarterscores: 22-21, 46-41, 74-69, 99-94.
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