NorthPort trumps Meralco to stay in playoff contention

Sean Anthony came off the bench to lead the Batang Pier's charge. PBA Media Bureau

By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--NorthPort stayed alive in the PBA Governors' Cup playoff race after putting a dent on that of Meralco with a 99-94 win at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay on Friday night.

Clutch triples from Stanley Pringle and Sean Anthony sealed the deal for the Batang Pier as they overtook their victims with their second win against six losses, keeping them in contention for a spot in the quarterfinals.

With survival at stake, both engaged in a close encounter that went down the wire.

However, a crucial foul by Jammer Jamito on Mo Tautuaa spelled doom for the Bolts.

Tautuaa made both his free throws, and, after Anthony stole the ball from Allen Durham, Pringle scored a huge trey that upped the lead to seven, 95-88, with 52 seconds to play.

Mike Tolomia answered with a quick triple of his own, but Anthony took the three points back with his own long tom that helped ice the game.

Durham still tried to keep Meralco close as he scored on a layup, stole the ball from Pringle, and made the first of his two free throws off an Anthony foul.

But he missed his second, and Rashad Woods made a split of his own for the final tally.

Anthony finished with 26 points, four rebounds, three assists, and three steals off the bench as NorthPort won back-to-back games after starting the conference 0-6.

Pringle added 24 points, eight rebounds, and three assists, while Woods chipped in 20 points, six rebounds, and two assists.

Durham's 37-point, 19-rebound, and seven-assist explosion fell short as Meralco dropped to 1-6.

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