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Romeo’s OT heroics propel Batang Pier over skidding Mahindra

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Keep shooting. Forget the percentages. As long as you make it when it counts most.

That was the theme for Terrence Romeo, who scored the game’s last five points in extension after missing his first 13 attempts from the three-point area, essentially powering the GlobalPort Batang Pier in a thrilling 118-116 match over the Mahindra Enforcers, on the first game of Saturday’s PBA double-header, held at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

GlobalPort set the pace for the first quarter despite having three early miscues against Mahindra’s defense. Four straight shots from the free throw area in the middle of the quarter gave Batang Pier a 21-13 lead with 2:36 to go. However, Mahindra’s trio of Yee, Bagatsing, and Laure combined for a 9-2 finish and cut the lead down to one after twelve minutes.

With just under nine minutes to play in the first half, Mahindra were able to take over the game after Aldrech Ramos knocked down a three-pointer to make it a 29-27 affair. The two teams went on a game of spurts that yielded six more deadlocks before the half expired. Fortunately for Mahindra, they closed the quarter on another strong note, establishing a 9-2 close out and limiting GlobalPort to only two free throws in the last two minutes of it.

Mahindra increased its separation to nine points at 62-53 during the third quarter. GlobalPort countered with Terrence Romeo and Stanley Pringle, as the duo combined 13 of the next 15 points of their team. The stretch was able to turn around the match and give the Batang Pier a 68-64 advantage with 3:14 to go. The offensive juggernaut continued for Batang Pier as they collectively tallied 35 points in the third period, capped by a tough three by Joseph Yeo, enough to give them a 79-72 lead heading into the final quarter of action.

The Enforcers delivered a sizzling start to the payoff period, with a 17-3 run to once again take over the game. They led by as much as seven with seven minutes to go, thanks to big threes by Michael Digregorio, and buckets from Ramos and Guinto. Within the next four minutes, GlobalPort were able to tie things up again at 93, despite Romeo’s cold shooting from the perimeter. Fast forward to the final minute with Globalport leading 101-100 after a big basket by Mamaril, Guinto and Dehasa combined for four huge free throws to swing the lead back to the Enforcers. Afterwards, Stanley Pringle sent the game into overtime after a tough, buzzer-beating jumper.

Once again, Mahindra jumped out to a six-point cushion in overtime with 2:38 to play. Despite not making a single three-pointer in his first 13 tries, Romeo hit three big free throws that kept them at bay. Down by three with 47 ticks to play, Romeo took over, as the former FEU guard tied the game at 116 with his first triple of the match. Seconds later, Dehesa muffed his own three-point attempt which gave GlobalPort 10 seconds to win the game. Romeo took advantage, going straight up for the game-winning layup.

Romeo only made five field goals out of 22 attempts, but finished the match with 29 points, including 18/21 from the free throw line. Pringle also tallied 29 markers, including eight rebounds, seven assists and two steals. For Mahindra, Ramos topscored the team with 24 points on 9/11 shooting. Digregorio chipped in 19 markers in 35 minutes of action.

Mahindra’s last game will be up against the Blackwater Elites, 3pm on Sunday, December 20 at the Mall of Asia Arena. As for GlobalPort, they wind up their elimination matches against the Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters , 4:15pm on Friday, Dec. 18 at the Big Dome.

The Scores:
GlobalPort (118) – Pringle 29, Romeo 29, Mamaril 12, Washington 12, Yeo 11, Kramer 10, Semerad 7, Maierhofer 6, Uyloan 2, Pena 0, Sumang 0
Mahindra (116) – Ramos 24, Dehesa 23, Digregorio 19, Yee 14, Pascual 9, Canaleta 6, Laure 5, Pinto 4, Bagatsing 1, Hubalde 0
Quarterscores: 23-22, 44-49, 79-72, 103-103, 118-116

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