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8-man NorthPort opens new era with epic 25-point comeback win vs Rain or Shine


Behind clutch plays from Robert Bolick and Mo Tautuaa, the NorthPort Batang Pier came back from a 25-point deficit and beat the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters in overtime, 107-105, for their third straight win in the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup, Wednesday evening at SM Mall of Asia Arena.

NorthPort pulled off comeback despite having only eight active players in the match, as the team is currently hounded by injuries. Bradwyn Guinto, Nico Elorde, Lervin Flores, and Jonathan Grey are all hurt.

This was also the Batang Pier’s first win in the post-Stanley Pringle era. The team shipped the scoring champion to Barangay Ginebra San Miguel this Tuesday in exchange for Jervy Cruz, Kevin Ferrer, and Sol Mercado.

“Eight guys, almost seven lang ang nilaro? Iba yung puso ng mga bata – puso, pride, palaban eh. Yun yun eh,” quipped a relieved NorthPort head coach Pido Jarencio. “Give credit sa lahat ng players na naglaro tonight.”

Mo Tautuaa paced the Batang Pier with a career-high 34 points on top of 11 rebounds, two steals, and an assist. Robert Bolick also filled the stat sheet with 22 points, nine assists, six rebounds, a steal, and a block.

Tautuaa and Bolick were pivotal in the Batang Pier’s rally.

Bolick initially committed a turnover after fumbling the inbound pass with 22.6 seconds left in regulation. But he then sank a booming three-pointer 11 seconds later to make up for that error and send the game into an extra period.

Meanwhile, Tautuaa buried a triple of his own off a broken play with 26.4 seconds remaining in the game, to give the Batang Pier a favorable 107-102 cushion. They never left the driver’s seat the rest of the way.

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“Ako nga, ‘di ko akalain na down 20 third quarter and yun. Nag-uusap nga kami sa bench – mababa lang ng sampu ‘to, okay na tayo. From there sinabi ko, basta open sa three points, tira lang ng tira para makahabol,” Jarencio said.

Anxiety, however, reared its ugly head in the dying moments. Denzel Bowles made a triple to lift Rain or Shine within two. Worse still, NorthPort import Prince Ibeh failed to shoot all four of his freebies.

Bowles managed to secure the board, but luckily for NorthPort, his heave from near-halfcourt went too short. The Batang Pier then secured the win, their sixth in seven outings, forcing a tie with TNT at the top.

Bowles had 41 points and 21 rebounds – but committed 10 turnovers – to lead Rain or Shine, who fell to 3-3.


The Scores:

NorthPort 107 – Tautuaa 34, Bolick 22, Lanete 16, Anthony 14, Taha 12, Ibeh 9, Arana 0.

Rain or Shine 105 – Bowles 41, Mocon 16, Daquioag 12, Nambatac 11, Rosales 10, Belga 5, Norwood 4, Ponferada 2, Borboran 2, Torres 2, Alejandro 0.

Quarterscores: 17-25, 40-49, 63-84, 100-100, 107-105.

Written By

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


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