|Mo Tautuaa's career game steered eight-man NorthPort to a shocker over ROS. PBA Images|
PASAY CITY - NorthPort played with the biggest heart despite fielding only 8 men against Rain or Shine, walking away with a 107-105 win that took them an extra 5 minutes to make it happen at the Mall of Asia Arena, Wednesday night.
Mo Tautuaa put up a career high of 34 points to lead the Batang Pier to their 6th win out of 7 games in the Commissioner's Cup.
However, getting the win wasn't an easy task for NorthPort as they have to take the beating of the Elasto Painters in regulation.
Rain or Shine controlled the tempo from the start of the game, limiting the Batang Pier side to only 2 points for over two minutes in the opening quarter.
It was Tautuaa's triple that tied the ball game to 7-all that got the Batang Pier side into scoring spree, but the Elasto Painters were more determined to take the quarter off from them, leading as much as 8 points, 25-17.
By the second quarter, Rain or Shine exploded in the rainbow area with Rey Nambatac and Kris Rosales firing three point shots to extend their lead to as much as 14 points.
NorthPort, on the other hand, refused to retreat with Paolo Taha firing a triple from the corner to seal the halftime score at 49-40.
The third quarter had been a horrific spell for the Batang Pier as Prince Ibeh picked up his 3rd foul.
The Elasto Painters were able to contain the NorthPort import, limiting him to only 2 points.
Rain or Shine scored massively in the third period which paved way for them to lead by as much as 25 points.
Emotions then flared up as Coach Pido Jarencio was called for a technical foul for entering the court, after the referee failed to call a foul against Jewel Ponferada, who stopped Robert Bolick's attempt on the basket with 3:20 left to play.
The Elasto Painters outscored NorthPort by 12 points, 35-23, in the third quarter alone, sealing off a massive 84-63 tally after three quarters of play.
The fourth quarter saw the potential of the Batang Pier to come back on the game with Garvo Lanete opening up the game with a triple, cutting the lead to just 18, 84-66.
Outside shots and their defense were the key for NorthPort to eventually cut the lead to single digits, in the dying minutes of the game.
From being down by only 5 points, NorthPort was able to find Tautuaa open for a shot that cut the lead further to only 3 points; 100-97 with only 28.3 seconds left that signaled Rain or Shine to call for a time out to regroup.
With 24.7 left in regulation, Bolick fouled Denzel Bowles, sending the Elasto Painters' import to the free throw line.
However, Bowles could not convert points and the scored remained at 100-97.
At the return of play to NorthPort, Bolick hit a triple just before the final buzzer that tied the ball game and hit their mark of extending the game to 5 more minutes.
The overtime opened up with back-to-back baskets coming from both teams, leaving them inseparable at 102 points almost the entirety of the overtime until a driving lay-up from Bolick happened with 1:41 to play that gave the Batang Pier the lead,.
Tautuaa's triple with 26.4 seconds remaining in the game sealed the deal for NorthPort.
Eight guys, almost seven lang yung naglaro. Kahit papaano, iba yung puso ng mga bata – puso, pride, palaban. Wala e, give credit to the players talaga, sa lahat, lahat ng players na naglaro tonight. Iba, ako nga hindi ko din akalain na – alam mo yun, down by 20 [sa] third quarter, tapos sa bench nag uusap kami na maibaba lang naming ng sampu ‘to, okay na tayo tapos from then on, basta open sa three points, tira lang tayo ng tira sa three point shot para makahabol tayo. Yun lang, wala na kami inside give, puro three point shot na nga lang tinira namin," Coach Pido Jarencio said as he talked to the media after the game.
NorthPort now shares the top of the standings with TNT Katropa, which also has a 6-1 slate.
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