NORTHPORT'S mix of old mainstays and new arrivals may lack the chemistry yet but they surely share a no-quit spirit.
Robert Bolick, Roi Sumang and fresh acquisition Arvin Tolentino joined hands in an 11-2 closing bombardment to lift the Batang Pier to a hard-earned 92-89 come-from-behind win over Phoenix Wednesday at the MOA Arena.
Bolick hit the go-ahead triple with 12 seconds left to finish the fiery windup that Tolentino, one of four team newcomers from Tuesday's mega trade, and Sumang started.
NorthPort, which shipped out Jamie Malonzo and acquired Tolentino, Prince Caperal, Jeff Chan and Kent Salado in the three-team trade with Barangay Ginebra and San Miguel Beer last Tuesday, survived a tough grind where they trailed by as many as 19 points.
"For me, a win is a win," said coach Pido Jarencio, whose team also overcame the absence of the fouled-out Prince Ibeh in the stretch.
"We were struggling the whole game defensively and offensively. Hindi namin makuha yung rhythm sa rotation and combination ng players. Ang maganda lang, yung puso andoon, yung will to win andoon and the players executed in the end, especially Mr. Clutch Robert Bolick," he added.
The Batang Pier played catchup most of the way after going on a flat 0-13 opening. They faced a 7-26 deficit early on, 65-55 late in the third, and 81-87 going to the last 1:58.
It was then that Tolentino knocked down a trey that Sumang followed with a bucket and a triple plus a nice dish out to Bolick for the eventual game winner from deep to sway the game's outcome.
"It's a total team effort. Masama yung umpisa namin, down by 10 near the end but yung players, hindi sila tumigil magtrabaho," said Jarencio.
Bolick paced NorthPort with 21 while Ibeh finished with 19 and 15 boards, Tolentino shot 16 with seven rebounds and four blocks and Sumang netted 15.
Javee Mocon topscored with 24 for Phoenix, which is starting a new chapter minus former top gunner Matthew Wright.
Import Kaleb Weeson had 14-17-7 in his first game for the Fuel Masters, who played without coach Topex Robinson (health protocols) and mainstays Sean Anthony, Jake Pascua, Sean Manganti and Jason Perkins. (OL)
NorthPort 92 - Bolick 21, Ibeh 19, Tolentino 16, Sumang 15, Santos 10, Balanza 6, Ferrer 3, Salado 2, Dela Cruz 0, Chan 0, Calma 0, Taha 0.
Phoenix 89 - Mocon 24, Wesson 14, Serrano 10, Tio 10, Jazul 7, Camacho 7, Muyang 6, Lalata 4, Garcia 4, Rios 3, Lojera 0, Adamos 0, Robles 0.
Quarters: 12-28, 37-37, 61-65, 92-89.