NORTHPORT continued its rise in the PBA Philippine Cup with a masterful 104-84 victory over skidding Terrafirma Saturday at the Don Honorio Ventura State University Gym in Bacolor, Pampanga.
Garvo Lanete came off the bench for a game-high 18 points while Robert Bolick and Jamie Malonzo put on their respective shows in the Batang Pier's early surges that enabled them to practically put the game away right in the first half.
By the end of the game, which it led by as much as 104-77, NorthPort officially claimed its second straight win for an even 3-3 record overall.
Not bad at all for a team that started the tournament 1-3 and notched those victories with team manager Bonnie Tan taking over the head coaching chores in lieu of Pido Jarencio and his staff, who are still under the league's health and safety protocols but expected to be cleared by early next week.
Tan maintained everything they've done was simply to execute what Jarencio and his deputies drew up. "It's all coach Pido's system, wala kaming pagbabago," he said. "At least they're responding."
Making its latest win more impressive is the fact NorthPort managed to fashion it despite Greg Slaughter being slapped with an F2 and banished from the court early in the second period after a hard foul on Adams.
No problem there as Sydney Onwubere filled up the big hole by collaring nine rebounds with Bolick chipping in six boards to go with his 15 points and eight assists and Malonzo taking time from his five dunks that netted him 14 points to also haul down six boards.
"Malaking bagay kasi presence ni Greg sa shaded lane, pero nu'ng mawala we had a different gameplan naman sa defense without Greg and I'm happy they responded," said Tan.
The loss, its second straight, could be a costly one for Terrafirma.
Now standing at 3-6, the Dyip must win their last two elimination round games and hope that more shakeups would occur elsewhere in the standings for them to at least play off for a quarterfinals slot.
Aldrech Ramos and Roosevelt Adams each had 14 points for Terrafirma, but the entire team could not match NorthPort's superior firepower that initially resulted in a 10-0 run and a 22-12 lead.
The Dyip grittily kept within 26-30, but Bolick scattered eight of his points during a 13-3 run that enabled the Batang Pier to start breaking the game wide open. (NC)
NorthPort 104 - Lanete 18, Bolick 15, Malonzo 14, Onwubere 10, Elorde 9,Taha 8, Faundo 6, Rike 6, Ferrer 5, Anthony 4, Subido 3, Balanza 2, Slaughter 2, Doliguez 0.
Terrafirma 84 - Adams 14, Ramos 14, Batiller 11m, Tiongson 9, Ganuelas-Rosser 9, McCarthy 8, Camson 7, Calvo 6, Gabayni 3, Laput 2, Celda 1, Alolino 0, Cahilig 0, Balagasay 0.
Quarters:22-12, 55-37 84-62, 104-84