WITHOUT a doubt, Anthony Semerad played the best game of his career.
The sophomore gunner scored a career-high 24 points and more importantly, knocked down the go-ahead triple with 14.9 seconds left to lift GlobalPort to a gut-wrenching 126-123 double overtime grinder over Meralco as the Batang Pier finally barged into the win column of the 2016 Philippine Basketball Association Governors’ Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City on Sunday.
With the score tied at 123-all with 20 seconds remaining, players had a mad scramble for the ball at mid-court. GlobalPort gained possession of the leather, immediately sending it over to a wide-open Semerad at the right corner baseline.
Hot all game long, Semerad calmly sank his sixth triple of the game to give GlobalPort, which overcame a sensational 55-point explosion from Meralco import Allen Durham, the breakthrough win it badly needed. He shot 75 percent, 6-of-8, from downtown, to help his team, which needed each of his outside baskets.
Still with a chance, the Bolts ran a play in an attempt to force a third extension, but Jonathan Uyloan’s potential game-tying triple didn’t find its mark, allowing the Batang Pier to win the hard-fought battle that saw 13 lead changes.
“I’m just happy we finally had our first win. We just didn’t want to break under pressure,” said Semerad after he and his team finally listed one under the win column.
GlobalPort improved to 1-4, forcing a four-way tie with the Blackwater Elite, the Star Hotshots and the Alaska Aces for the ninth to 12th spots. The inconsistent Bolts dropped to 3-3 in the middle of the pack.
Before Semerad’s heroics, Jay Washington tied the game. He also knocked down a triple, this time from the left corner baseline, with 1:17 left to tie the count at 123-all.
Meralco was actually in a good position to take the win, leading 122-118 with 2:34 left in the second extension. Unlike previous defeats, GlobalPort held its ground down the stretch to prevent another meltdown and finally get the monkey off its back.
The Batang Pier finished the game with an 8-1 blitz, highlighted by the back-to-back triples from Washington and Semerad.
GlobalPort also got help from Mike Glover, who scored 26 points and grabbed 16 rebounds for a double-double. Terrence Romeo added 24 points.
Chris Newsome sent the game into a second overtime by making a game-tying jumper with 8.9 seconds left.
In regulation, a three-point play by Durham off a huge steal tied the count at 100-apiece and sent the contest into the first extension.
Meanwhile, goliaths San Miguel Beer and Barangay Ginebra, teams which are playing exceptionally well thus far and are tied for second at the moment, are battling each other as of this report.
GLOBALPORT 126 – Mike Glover 26, Terrence Romeo 24, Anthony Semerad 24, Stanley Pringle 15, Joseph Yeo 11, Anthony Washington 8, Karl Dehesa 8, Doug Kramer 6, Yousef Taha 4, Billy Mamaril 0.
MERALCO 123 – Allen Durham 55, Bryan Faundo 12, Chris Newsome 10, Cliff Hodge 9, Anjo Caram 8, Jonathan Uyloan 6, Ryan Buenafe 6, Reynel Hugnatan 6, Jared Dillinger 4, Kelly Nabong 4, Jimmy Alapag 3, Baser Amer 0, Ken Bono 0.
Quarter scores: 21-24, 52-41, 82-71, 100-100, 114-114, 126-123.
(Smart Araneta Coliseum):
4:15 p.m. – NLEX vs. Mahindra
7 p.m. – Meralco vs. Blackwater