Already in the quarterfinals, red-hot NorthPort now sets its sight on inching closer to a top two finish in the elimination round of the 2019 Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner’s Cup.
Winners of four straight, the Batang Pier (7-1) can retake solo leadership as it goes for a fifth consecutive win when it plays Phoenix Pulse (2-4) at 4:30 p.m. at the Smart Araneta Coliseum today.
Succeeding this will be a clash between streaking Magnolia (3-2) and powerhouse San Miguel (2-3) at 7 p.m.
Still keeping its consistent play despite the departure of former superstar Stanley Pringle, NorthPort is feeling good about where it is at right now.
The Batang Pier is currently tied with TNT KaTropa for first place with their similar cards.
The three gunners they got from the Pringle trade, Kevin Ferrer, Jervy Cruz and Sol Mercado, immediately showed that the deal was a good one for the Batang Pier.
The trio, who came from Barangay Ginebra in exchange for Pringle last week, all scored in double-figures right away in their first game in a Batang Pier uniform to help NorthPort waylay Blackwater, 127-99, last Saturday.
“I told you all, these three players will be a big help to us,” said NorthPort coach Pido Jarencio. “We now have a much deeper rotation.”
Phoenix, on the other hand, has been anything but consistent.
The Fuel Masters are yet to gain steam and have lost their last assignment, against Magnolia, 99-96, also last Saturday.
After losing their first two assignments, the Hotshots have now won three in a row and are looking for their fourth straight in their Philippine Cup finals rematch with San Miguel.
The Beermen are uncharacteristically in the lower echelon at the moment but they are hoping to once again have success against the Hotshots to improve their current position.
San Miguel edged out Magnolia, 4-3, in a thrilling seven-game finale in the Philippine Cup to win its fifth straight jewel in the season-opening tournament.
The Beermen have won their last outing, downing Alaska, 119-107, last Friday night.