ANTIPOLO – NorthPort pulled away late and spoiled TNT’s debut, 99-90, to break through in the PBA On Tour, Friday night at the Ynares Center here.
Joshua Munzon led the way with 16 points, including the first six of an 11-0 run to finish the game as the Batang Pier showed elite composure in crunch time for their first win after suffering back-to-back losses to start the preseason tilt.
“Sa mga practices namin, si Josh ang gusto namin ma-change ang perception sa game. By losing Robert Bolick, we lost a lot of points needed to win a game so we’re [pushing] Josh to step up,” said head coach Bonnie Tan.
MJ Ayaay continued his fine play with 15 points. Ditto with Paul Zamar with 14 points, while draft aspirant Fran Yu added 11 in the triumph.
“Masaya kami. The team is happy to get the first win, kahit na preseason ‘to,” said Tan. “Sinasabi nga namin sa team namin na first game pa lang ‘to ng TNT at least kami, this is our third na … at least nadeliver nila.”
NorthPort (1-2) will next face Blackwater (2-1) next Friday, June 9, 5 p.m. at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig in a bid to nail back-to-back wins.
Glenn Khobuntin had a game-high 24 points to lead an undermanned TNT, whose 10-man roster even became a player short after Poy Erram fell down with a sprained right ankle during the fourth quarter.
Erram never returned to the game, leaving with 10 points and seven rebounds. The veteran big man could be out for a few weeks.
Backing up Khobuntin was Carl Cruz, who produced 21 points on five three-pointers alongside six rebounds in the loss.
The Tropang Giga will try to pick themselves up as they battle the winless Terrafirma (0-2) on Wednesday, 5 p.m. also at Ynares Pasig.
NorthPort 99 – Munzon 16, Ayaay 15, Zamar 13, Yu 11, Calma 9, Chan 9, Santos 8, Comboy 6, Taha 4, Balagasay 2, Salado 2, Caperal 1, Bauzon 0, Sobrevega 0.
TNT 90 – Khobuntin 24, Cruz 21, Erram 10, Ganuelas-Rosser 8, Montalbo 7, Alfaro 5, Marcelo 5, Jopia 5, Cuntapay 3, Varilla 2.
Quarterscores: 17-22, 42-44, 65-69, 99-90.