NorthPort ends skid, routs TNT
NorthPort coach Pido Jarencio asked his wards to make a name for themselves following a six-game slide that had caused its playoff bid to slowly fade away.
The Batang Pier heeded that call with a wire-to-wire victory to overwhelm TNT, 109-83, in the PBA Philippine Cup Sunday at Araneta Coliseum.
“I told them, legends are made when their team is down,” Jarencio said in Filipino. “That’s our situation right now. We want to make a name for ourselves.”
The Batang Pier cranked it up in the middle quarters, breaking loose for a 27-point cushion behind the performances of Stanley Pringle, who scored a total of 27 and do-it-all forward Sean Anthony, who finished with 14.
Sophomore Lervyn Flores registered a career-best 13 points that earned him the Player of the Game nod.
NorthPort erected a 30-point bubble to keep TNT squarely on the back seat and fan the flames of their bid to crack the Top 8 of the Philippine Cup.
“Our last six losses all boiled down on the breaks of the game,” Jarencio said. “But this time, it’s like we played a perfect game. From first half all the way to the second.
“We really finished strong,” he added. “The players knew that our backs are against the wall.”
Batang Pier, now with a 3-6 record, not only snapped KaTropa’s five-game winning streak but also snuffed out their chances of securing the twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals.
TNT wrapped up its elimination round campaign at 7-4 and are now sitting at the fourth place in the tournament ladder.
“The key was communication,” Jarencio said, whose squad are still due to play two more teams in Alaska and Barangay Ginebra. “Our defense? Our offense? It has all been laid out prior the conference. But communication? That was what we’re able to tweak [this game].
NorthPort needs no less than a sweep of its final two assignments and for the Top 8’s bottom half to lose their remaining games to qualify for the next round of hostilities.
Batang Pier tackles the Alaska Aces this Wednesday before facing crowd favorite Barangay Ginebra on April 3.
NorthPort 109 – Pringle 27, Anthony 14, Tautuaa 13, Taha 13, Flores 11, Grey 9, Bolick 8, Elorde 8, Lanete 6, Guinto 0, Sollano 0.
TNT 83 – Trollano 15, Washington 13, Pogoy 10, Cruz 7, Reyes 7, Castro 7, Rosario 6, Miranda 6, Taha 5, Williams 4, Golla 2, Semerad 1, Heruela 0, Carey 0, Casino 0.
Quarters: 22-16, 53-31, 82-61, 109-83.
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