NorthPort hit some crucial shots down the stretch to preserve a hard-fought 99-94 victory over the Meralco Bolts in the 2018 Philippine Basketball Association Governors’ Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City last night.
Sean Anthony and Stanley Pringle were in their best element for the Batang Pier.
Anthony poured in a team-high 26 points while Pringle filled up the stat sheet with 24 markers and eight rebounds across his name.
NorthPort was in the driver seat since the second period but was threatened late.
Still, it was able to stand its ground in the closing minutes, thanks to some big baskets in times of need.
Pringle’s triple bounced in with 53 seconds remaining, bringing the Batang Pier to safety as it gained a 95-88 lead, putting the game in the bag.
NorthPort kept its bid alive for a spot in the top eight with this critical victory as it improved to 2-6 following its second straight win to climb to ninth place.
On the other hand, the road got even harder for Meralco, who had lost its sixth straight, as it slipped to 1-6 in 10th place.
The Batang Pier banked on a 15-6 spurt midway in the third to carve a double-digit lead, 63-51, after a basket from Woods with over six minutes left in the period.
NorthPort carried its double-digit lead into the fourth as it was still ahead, 84-74, with less than seven minutes left in the contest.
Still showing signs of life, Meralco fought back and trimmed its deficit to only two, 84-86, after a 10-2 run was capped by Mike Tolomia with 3:41 left, making it anyone’s game to take.
NorthPort carried a 46-41 edge at the half following a firm second quarter.
As of this report, Phoenix (6-2) and struggling San Miguel Beer (2-4) are going at it in their own clash.
The scores:NorthPort Batang Pier 99—Anthony 26, Pringle 24, Woods 20, Tautuaa 14, Elorde 4, Arana 4, Espinas 2, Gabayni 2, Javelona 2, Taha 1, Fortuna 0, Guinto 0, Grey 0.
Meralco Bolts 94—Durham 37, Tolomia 18, Newsome 13, Hodge 12, Hugnatan 5, Salva 4, Canaleta 3, Caram 2, Lanete 0, Amer 0, Ballesteros 0, Simon Atkins 0, Jimmer Jamito 0.
Quarter scores: 22-21, 46-41, 74-69, 99-94.
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