NORTHPORT was bent on bouncing back in a big way from a humiliating loss and it showed when the Batang Pier fashioned 115-79 victory over hapless Phoenix Super LPG Wednesday in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
Making up for lost time caused by a partial ACL tear that kept him out of last year's Philippine Cup bubble, Robert Bolick notched 20 points and 11 assists as NorthPort bounced back in a big way from a 63-85 loss to Meralco on opening day Friday.
Even Sydney Onwubere, Paolo Taha and Jamie Malonzo also made their mark and made up for the absence of Greg Slaughter, who begged off for the second straight game, and Sean Anthony, nursing a sore left ankle.
Both Bolick, who missed last year's Philippine Cup bubble to fully recover from a partially torn ACL, and coach Pido Jarencio said it was about their game finally coming together.
"Sabi nga ni coach Pido, hindi namin kaya kung offense-to-offense lang," related Bolick, who added seven rebounds while shooting 3-of-5 from beyond the arc.
"So last couple of practices namin focus namin depensa lang talaga. 'Yung offense nga namin hindi na namin na-trabaho. Talagang defense focus namin. Nagkita naman ngayon."
"Masyadong disappointment 'yung first game namin. Lowest scoring and at the same time (shooting) percentage yata," said Jarencio.
"Ginawa na lang namin, we fixed one thing, defense. Actually, nagkaroon kami ng bull session. Nag-usap kami, sa depensa. Nag-concentrate kami talaga on defense. If we make stops then we can get our offense flowing."
The two ends did meet for the Batang Pier, resulting in the largest winning margin in franchise history with rookie Troy Rike, the No. 11 pick overall in last March's draft, highlighting his own 20-point game with four straight triples that powered his team to as much as a 99-65 lead.
The loss was Phoenix's second in as many outings and more sorry than in its 70-83 defeat to Magnolia last Saturday. Vic Manuel scored a game-high 26 points, but the likes of Matthew Wright, Jason Perkins and Justin Chua came up with sub-par performances.
Wright scored 15 points but made only four of his 15 shots from the field while Perkins and Chua accounted for only a total of 14 points on a combined 5-of-23 shooting.
In all, Phoenix made just 31 of its 97 shots while missing its first 20 shots from beyond the arc. (NC)
NorthPort 115 -- Bolick 20, Rike 20, Ferrer 20, Malonzo 15, Onwubere 15, Taha 12, Elorde 6, Faundo 4, Balanza 3, Subido 0, Doliguez 0, Lanete 0, Grey 0.
Phoenix 79 - Manuel 26, Wright 15, Perkins 12, Jazul 8, Garcia 6, Melecio 4, Pascual 2, Demusis 2, Chua 2, Rios 2, Faundo 0, Muyang 0, Calisaan 0, Napoles 0.
Quarters: 22-18, 50-31, 79-51, 115-79