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Tiebreaker Times


PBA: NorthPort clinches QF seat with rout of luckless Blackwater

NorthPort is bound for the PBA Season 48 Commissioner’s Cup quarterfinals after blasting Blackwater, 106-89, Friday at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.

The Batang Pier seized control in the second quarter and then broke away in the ensuing period on the way to booking another trip to the playoffs, which they last did in the previous edition of the ongoing conference last season.

Back in the win column after a two-game skid, the crew remained at no. 6 in the standings with a 6-4 record, and will look to finish their elimination round campaign with another W versus Ginebra (6-3) on Sunday, January 7.

“We’re on the right track as of the moment, pero let’s see ‘yung sa crucial game this coming Sunday,” offered head coach Bonnie Tan postgame.

“Kasi ‘yung placing, if we lose this Sunday, we’ll be facing a tougher team. If we want to play against ‘yung pwedeng beatable, we have to win on Sunday.”

Six finished in double figures in the victory, with Joshua Munzon leading the way with 20 points, four rebounds, three assists, four steals, and four blocks.

The former no. 1 pick scored nine of his points in the first half, including seven in the second period that saw him, JM Calma, and John Amores join hands for the 16-4 run to end the frame and give NorthPort a 45-35 lead.

“It feels good starting the year off with a win, and building momentum going into the playoffs,” said Munzon. “That’s what Coach stressed to us a lot this week, just try to build momentum and head into these two games trying to win.”

Venky Jois fell just short of a 20-20 outing as he finished with 19 points and 20 rebounds, together with seven assists, two steals, and three blocks.

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Paul Zamar, now in his second game back from a hand fracture, supplied 13 points, spiked by a pair of three-pointers. Calma, main man Arvin Tolentino, and new guard Kris Rosales all chipped in 10 points apiece in the victory.

Rey Suerte, on the other hand, tallied 20 points to lead the also-ran Blackwater, who absorbed its ninth straight loss and fell to 1-9.

Christian David made 17 points and 11 rebounds. Chris Ortiz had his own double-double with 14 and 13, while Archie Concepcion added 10 for a Bossing side that didn’t have Troy Rosario, who’s out for the conference due to a calf injury.

Blackwater will finish its campaign next Friday, January 12, against the Top 4-seeking San Miguel Beer. Game time is at 4 p.m. also at the Big Dome.

The Scores:

NorthPort 106 – Munzon 20, Jois 19, Zamar 13, Calma 10, Tolentino 10, Rosales 10, Amores 7, Yu 6, Bulanadi 5, Flores 5, Paraiso 1, Taha 0, Chan 0, Adamos 0.

Blackwater 89 – Suerte 20, David 17, Ortiz 14, Concepcion 10, Kwukuteye 8, Ilagan 7, Escoto 5, DiGregorio 3, Jopia 2, Hill 2, Ular 1, Amer 0, Guinto 0, Banal 0.

Quarterscores: 18-17, 45-35, 84-66, 106-89.

Written By

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.

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