Streaking Northport held off every Ginebra rally in the fourth quarter to secure its third consecutive win in the PBA On Tour, prevailing with a score of 101-95 on Saturday at the Batangas City Coliseum.
Despite the Barangay trailing by 11 points midway through the final period at 84-73, Jeremiah Gray tried to carry his team on his shoulders. However, Fran Yu had all the answers for the Batang Pier, maintaining a 96-86 lead with 1:15 left on the clock.
The “Never Say Die” spirit of Ginebra refused to fade away as Jayson David brought his squad within five points with 47.3 seconds remaining, following multiple stops and conversions, making it 92-97.
Yu once again responded with two free throws at the 28-second mark, but Joshua Munzon committed a costly foul on Von Pessumal, who was shooting from deep. Pessumal made all three free throws, narrowing the gap to 95-99 with 21 seconds left.
In the ensuing play, the Barangay stole the ball from the inbound pass and found Pessumal for a layup attempt, but he missed it. Munzon grabbed the rebound but fell out of bounds, giving Ginebra another possession.
Pessumal had another opportunity for a shot, this time from behind the arc, but missed again as Arvin Tolentino sealed the game from the free-throw line.
After losing their first two matches, the Batang Pier improved their record to 3-2, while the Barangay dropped to 1-3.
Yu, who celebrated his 25th birthday the day before, made six three-pointers, finishing with 21 points and eight assists in 27 minutes coming off the bench. JM Calma and Paul Zamar contributed 16 points each, while Tolentino recorded 15 points and nine rebounds.
For the Barangay, Gray tallied 25 points and 11 rebounds, while Pessumal scored 16 points but struggled with a 4-of-18 shooting performance from the field. David had another solid game with 15 points, eight rebounds, five assists, four steals, and two blocks.
Northport will aim for a fourth straight win on Friday against Magnolia, while Ginebra will face Blackwater on Wednesday.
Northport 101 – Yu 21, Zazmar 16, Calma 16, Tolentino 15, Munzon 8, Bauzon 8, Salado 8, Ayaay 5. Balagasay 2, Comboy 2, Gabriel 0, Olivario 0
Ginebra 95 – Gray 26, Pessumal 16, David 15, Pinto 14, Mariano 10, R. Aguilar 9, Onwubere 3, Gumaru 2, Dillinger 0, Cu 0, Aurin 0
Quarterscores: 17-32, 45-41, 68-63, 101-95