Arvin Tolentino took over as NorthPort outlasted Terrafirma, 104-100, in a PBA On Tour nail-biter, Sunday night at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
The young winger scored the Batang Pier’s last seven points, including the go-ahead trifecta for the 100-99 lead with 1:31 left to play to swing the tides in their favor for good after squandering a lead as big as 17 points early.
He finished with a game-high 28 points on a 50-percent shooting clip and nine rebounds to lead the way in the win that ended their two-game losing skid.
“Medyo sinwerte sa huli na sa kaniya pa napunta yung last seven points,” offered head coach Bonnie Tan postgame.
Paul Zamar delivered 21 points, six rebounds, and four assists in the triumph that hiked NorthPort’s record to 4-4 in the preseason tournament.
JM Calma flirted with a double-double as he produced 18 points and nine rebounds. Joshua Munzon added 14 markers, spiked by two triples.
Juami Tiongson, on the hand, had 25 points to lead Terrafirma, who absorbed its third consecutive loss following the comeback that fell short.
Javi Gomez de Liano made 19 points and eight rebounds. Gelo Alolino had 16 points while Aldrech Ramos and Isaac Go added 11 apiece in the loss,
Alolino and Go were key in Terrafirma’s rally from an 11-point deficit early in the final period, with the sweet-shooting big man responsible in giving themselves a 99-97 lead following a three-point play conversion with 1:53 left.
Tolentino was the one called for the foul on Go but made sure to atone for that, nailing the big trey on the other hand to get the lead back.
The game then began to drift away from the Dyip. Go got called for an illegal screen, and Tolentino pushed their lead to 102-99 with 48.8 seconds left.
Go could’ve made it a one-point game but only made one of his two bonuses from the line. It didn’t help, too, that the team lost Andreas Cahilig with 16.5 seconds to play as he fouled out of the match.
Tolentino would then ice the game by making both of his free throws, leaving their foes frustrated yet again for losing another close one.
“We’re just happy with the win,” said Tan. “Breaks of the game. Terrafirma played well, lalo na sa second half.”
NorthPort 104 – Tolentino 28, Zamar 21, Calma 18, Munzon 14, Santos 8, Ayaay 6, Salado 4, Yu 3, Gabriel 2, Balagasay 0, Sobrevega 0, Bauzon 0.
Terrafirma 100 – Tiongson 25, Gomez de Liano 19, Alolino 16, Ramos 11, Go 11, Mina 9, Daquioag 4, Cahilig 3, Calvo 2, Grospe 0.
Quarterscores: 30-18, 52-43, 83-76, 104-100.