Globalport nails 1st PBA victoryBy Musong R. Castillo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines — Displaying a lot of heart for a side with a supposedly low morale, Globalport came roaring back from 14 points down in the fourth period to steal its first PBA win, a 105-104 decision of Meralco Wednesday night in the Philippine Cup at Mall of Asia Arena.
With the three-point shot as their main weapon, the Batang Pier overhauled a 78-92 deficit with under 9 minutes left to pip the Bolts, who later on learned that their dugout had been ransacked by thieves who made a mockery of the ultra-modern arena’s security.
Willie Miller scored 33 points and rookie Jason Deutchman finished with 20, including two straight triples in a 25-second span that completed the Batang Pier’s improbable climb against one of the hottest teams in the tournament.
The second of those treys, Deutchman’s fourth for the game, gave the Batang Pier a 100-99 lead to stay with 73 seconds left.
Globalport’s first win after four tries came even with Gary David sitting out a second straight game because of a knee injury, and coach Glenn Capacio, who also won his first game, praised his squad’s heart more than anything else.
“This is a big thing for the players because their morale (coming into this game) was very low,” Capacio said in Filipino. “The players showed a lot of heart. Luckily, we played well in the last four minutes.”
Alfred Mandani, a rookie with foreign blood like Deutchman, completed a three-point play off Ronjay Buenafe with 17 seconds remaining for a 103-99 lead that practically iced the contest.
The robbery incident happened before the end of the first half, with Meralco coach Ryan Gregorio losing more than P100,000 to the thieves, who managed to slip through several security checkpoints.
It was Miller’s highest-scoring game since the 34 he scored in the 2008 Fiesta Conference for Alaska. With his explosive night, Miller, the former two-time MVP, became just the 25th player in league history to score at least 8,000 points and is the only active player in that elite club.
GLOBALPORT 105—Miller 33, Deutchman 20, Al-Hussaini 17, Mandani 12, Manuel 6, Guevarra 6, Yee 5, Vanlandingham 4, Salvador 2, Lingganay 0, Cruz 0, Antonio 0.
MERALCO 104—Mercado 30, Buenafe 30, Hodge 15, Reyes 7, Nabong 6, Hugnatan 5, Artadi 4, Salvacion 3, Belencion 2, Cardona 2, Bulawan 0, Borboran 0, Sharma 0.
Quarters: 25-25, 52-48, 76-87, 105-104