|Robert Bolick exploded right when the Batang Pier needed the most. Dennis Acosta|
By Xy-Zha Cabanlong
QUEZON CITY—North Port Batang Pier escaped a late rally by Barangay Ginebra to secure their spot at the looming playoffs, Wednesday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Robert Bollick, Stanley Pringle and Moala Tautua'a combined forces to push the Batang Pier side to its victory, amidst a looming threat from the Gin Kings to take the game away off them.
North Port almost dominated the entire first half, making a statement that they are out to win the ball game in spite the fact that both teams are only playing for their playoff positions.
Gin Kings avenged, cutting Batang Pier's lead to only two points at halftime.
The second half, on the other hand had been a show of deadlocks and brief lead changes between two teams. North Port took advantage of the team foul penalties by Ginebra and capitalised on the free throws to remain alive in the final half of the game.
At the crucial quarter of the ball game, Ginebra took the lead from North Port; 94-92 with 3:17 left. But just before the 2 minute mark, North Port reclaimed the lead through the effort of Bollick.
A trip to the free throw line by Sol Mercado tied the game to 95 apiece.
Ginebra took advantage of the miss by North Port and converted one in courtesy of Jervy Cruz to push the Gin Kings ahead, 97-95.
Bollick again exemplified the heart of a roaring lion as he sank a three-pointer to give the lead back to North Port with only 58 seconds remaining.
A foul sent Stanley Pringle to the free throw line, which etched the dagger on the Ginebra side as he sank both of the foul shots with only 8.1 seconds remaining for the final tally.
Bollick emerged as the best player of the game with 24 points.
Follow her on Twitter: @_ichbinxyzha