GLOBALPORT coach Pido Jarencio must have more pre-game talks with Jonathan Grey.
Nag-respond naman ang bata, sa opensa at depensa, kaya iyung playing time nandoon," added Jarencio."Talagang nag-deliver."
A day after Jarencio asked him to come up with a big game, Grey readily obliged and largely made possible the Batang Pier's 114-113 nail-biter over the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters Tuesday that forced a deciding game in their PBA Commissioner's Cup quarterfinals duel at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Grey's challenged corner 3 gave him a playoff career-high 22 points and became the game-winner when Gabe Norwood and Maverick Ahanmisi missed their own respective triple tries inside the dying seconds.
"Deserving iyon," said Jarencio before relating what he told the former College of St. Benilde star in practice on the eve of the match.
"Ang sabi ko sa kanya, 'Laruan mo naman ako. Kailangan ka na rito,'" narrated Jarencio.
As a result, the eighth-ranked Batang Pier neutralized the win-once advantage toted by the top seeded E-Painters and turned the matchup into a do-or-die game Thursday.
GlobalPort now has a chance to become only the fourth team in league history to topple a top-ranked squad after Powerade in the 2012 Philippine Cup, San Miguel Beer in the 2002 Governors Cup and Barangay Ginebra in the 1999 All-Filipino.
After staving off elimination, Jarencio also now has a clearer crack at steering the Mikee Romero-owned franchise into a second semis appearance under him after the 2016 Philippine Cup.
"Basta kami we'll just do our job," promised Jarencio, crediting the way his players plodded on despite trailing by as many as 16 points in the third quarter.
"Hindi kami nag-give up. Dire-diretso, tuloy-tuloy lang, basta laro lang ng maayos," said Jarencio.
Rain or Shine only has itself to blame for flubbing the chance to seal the deal and advancing outright to the next round where it will take on the other quarters pairing pitting Alaska and Magnolia Ang Pambansang Manok.
The E-Painters could not hold on to a third quarter 16-point lead, failed to fully exploit GlobalPort import Malcolm White riding the bench due to foul trouble and squandered a 106-98 lead in the fourth quarter.
The pressure was most likely felt by Maverick Ahanmisi, who failed to add on to their 112-11 lead by missing three straight charities. He finally canned one to make it a 113-111 game, still 16.2 seconds left.
That proved to be enough time for Grey to come up with his heroics that came after a broken play in which White was supposed to be option No. 1.
With the defense ganging up on him, White was forced to pass to Grey in the right corner and the sophomore confidently launched his shot over Ed Daquioag's flailing defense.
White, who picked up his fifth foul with still 1:57 to go in the third quarter and did not return to the game until the final 6:12, still wound up with 28 points and 16 rebounds with Stanley Pringle adding 21 markers, nine boards and nine dimes.
Reggie Johnson led Rain or Shine with 24 points, 15 rebounds and seven feeds against six turnovers with Raymond Almazan adding 17 points and 11 boards and James Yap and Daquioag at least 14 points apiece.(NC)
GlobalPort 114 - White 28, Grey 22, Pringle 21, Anthony 11, Elorde 7, Taha 6, Tautuaa 6, Javelona 4, Teng 3, Eapinas 3, Guinto 3, Arana 0.
Rain or Shine 113 - Johnson 24, Almazan 17, Ahanmisi 15, Daquioag 14, Tiu 10, Norwood 9, Belga 8.
Quarters: 24-26, 52-60, 83-91, 114-113.