MANILA, Philippines—NorthPort capped off its grueling four-day stretch with a pulsating 96-94 win over NLEX in the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup Sunday night at DHVSU Gym in Bacolor, Pampanga.
The Batang Pier, who played three games in four days, went perfect in that stretch and improved to a 4-3 record overtaking the Road Warriors, who dropped to 4-5, for the sixth spot in the standings.
Sean Anthony gave NorthPort a 95-87 lead with 2:15 to play and looked to be set for a comfortable win but the Road Warriors slowly got back in the game with Don Trollano going on a four-point swing to put NLEX within four, 95-91, with barely a minute remaining.
Fortunately for the Batang Pier, the Road Warriors hit speed bumps, missing four straight shots all in one possession.
Paolo Taha split his chances at the line to give NorthPort a 96-91 lead with 16 seconds left and while Kevin Alas knocked down a three-pointer with a second left, there wasn’t enough time left for another comeback.
Team manager Bonnie Tan said that while the grueling stretch they played is over, they would want to bank on the experience and try to extend their winning streak.
“Like I tell my players, we should not stop our momentum in getting these wins,” said Tan. “We should always make sure to get these chances to win games, these are blessings for us, because once we lose it’s hard to come back up.”
“We should continue the good run and we’re definitely gonna be working hard for our next game, the coaches already have the scouting report ready.”
Jamie Malonzo showed his tenacity for the Batang Pier, finishing with 13 points, 14 rebounds, five assists, one steal, and two blocks while Robert Bolick put up 26 points.
Trollano led NLEX with 19 points and six rebounds.
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