GlobalPort withstands late NLEX run

By Ivan Saldajeno

QUEZON CITY--Minutes after his college team lost in the UAAP finals to FEU, former UST coach Pido Jarencio had a dilemma of his own in the PBA as his GlobalPort Batang Pier found themselves slowly losing their grip on their lead due to an NLEX Road Warriors run.

He got a sigh of relief in the end, and the splendid performance of his star, who happened to be an alumnus of the newly-crowned UAAP champ, did not go down the drain.

GlobalPort banked on its late defensive stand to not put Terrence Romeo's hot night to waste and dump NLEX, 96-90, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday night.

The former King Tamaraw sizzled for 21 of his 29 points in the first half, but it was his teammates who finished the job as they held on despite the Road Warriors' rally.

GlobalPort led by as much as 19 at halftime and had an 18-point cushion, 75-57, late in the third quarter, but NLEX ended the period on a 13-2 run to cut it to just seven, 77-70.

The Batang Pier tried to pull away again as they mounted an 82-72 advantage, but the Road Warriors answered with a 6-0 rally to trim the gap to four, 82-78.

GlobalPort made another mini-run to stretch its edge to eight, 90-82, but an 8-2 blitz by NLEX slashed the lead to only two, 92-90, with 1:12 left.

After two free throws from Billy Mamaril with 53.4 seconds left, the Batang Pier's defense forced Simon Enciso to a missed triple.

However, Romeo badly missed a trey on the other end, and GlobalPort was charged with a 24-second violation, giving NLEX 22 seconds to go for a quick shot.

Asi Taulava, however, missed a layup in the Warriors' final offensive, and Romeo sealed the win with two free throws.

Stanley Pringle added 27 points, seven rebounds, three assists, and one steal for the Batang Pier, which nailed the fourth seat in the quarterfinals.

Taulava finished with 29 markers, 12 boards, four dimes, one block, and one steal for NLEX.

GlobalPort won despite committing 24 turnovers, five coming from Romeo, compared to only 12 from the opposition.

Box Scores:

GlobalPort 96-Romeo 29, Pringle 27, Jensen 14, Mamaril 9, Kramer 7, Washington 6, Pena 2, Sumang 2, Maierhofer 0, Semerad 0, Taha 0, Yeo 0

NLEX 90-Taulava 29, Anthony 17, Villanueva J. 10, Alas 9, Cardona 8, Villanueva E. 8, Khobuntin 5, Enciso 2, Lanete 2, Arboleda 0, Borboran 0, Reyes 0

Quarterscores: 24-16, 53-35, 77-70, 96-90

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