NorthPort books quarterfinals slot, stuns Ginebra
MANILA, Philippines—NorthPort Coach Pido Jarencio was all smiles after Batang Pier’s gutsy victory over Barangay Ginebra, 98-96, that punched their ticket in the PBA Governors’ Cup on Sunday night.
Jarencio, though, is well aware that such smile should wear off soon as his charges brace for a tougher task ahead.
“It’s nice that for the whole season we’re in the quarters,” Jarencio told reporters after the triumph made possible by a 30-point outing by Michael Qualls and a pair of equally steady ones from Sean Anthony and Christian Standhardinger.
“But it’s time to step up,” he said. “It’s time for the semis. That’s the [new] goal of the team.”
Anthony had 18 points while Standhardinger scored 17 in NorthPort’s final elimination round stand that pushed its record to 5-6.
Justin Brownlee had 31 points for the crowd favorites, while three more tossed in 14 or more as the Gin Kings settled for 7-4.
The victory not only put NorthPort squarely in 7th place but also nullified Rain or Shine’s stunning victory Meralco in the earlier match.
“A win is a win whether it be by one, two, or three points,” said Jarencio. “Now, we just have to be ready for a twice-to-beat team.”
That foe could either be the retooled Bolts or the distraught yet ever dangerous San Miguel Beer, which is in the hunt for a Grand Slam.
That quarterfinal matchups will be finalized this Wednesday when NLEX takes on Alaska and San Miguel battles TNT at Ynares in Antipolo.
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