A win is a win
NorthPort coach Pido Jarencio wasn’t exactly a fan of how his charges fared against an NLEX side missing its import Saturday night at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
But the outspoken mentor said he’d take the Batang Pier’s 83-79 victory over the Road Warriors any day, especially since it has given them a 2-0 record—and a share of the early lead—in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
Sean Anthony scored the tie-breaking putback with 16 seconds remaining then drained two free throws to ice the count and finished with 17 points for NorthPort, which drew a team-best 18 points from rookie Robert Bolick.
“It boiled down to the breaks of the game,” Jarencio said. “We had an import [advantage] and it still went down the wire. But I’ll take it.”
“[But] at the start of [Sunday’s] practice, we’ll first work on our free throws.”
Jarencio rued his team’s performance from the foul line, which he said could’ve changed the complexion of the game had his wards shot better. The Batang Pier nailed only 15 of their total 34 attempts all game.
NorthPort import Prince Ibeh had 15 points and 19 rebounds while Moala Tautuaa added 14 and nine.
TNT later joined NorthPort and idle Blackwater at 2-0 after a 99-85 victory over Alaska in the second game.
Terrence Jones again came up huge for the KaTropa, logging 43 points, 22 rebounds and five assists.
The Road Warriors, who were still reeling from a 102-87 loss to TNT last Wednesday, fielded an all-Filipino cast after Tony Mitchell, the team’s original choice as import, has yet to fully iron out documentation issues.
“He’s here, he’s practiced with us. We’ll just have to wait until the next game,” coach Yeng Guiao said through a statement posted on the team’s official social media account.
Kenneth Ighalo came through with 18 points, while Poy Erram added 12 more for NLEX.
Meanwhile, Blackwater goes for a third straight victory when it battles winless Columbian on Sunday also at the Big Dome.