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NorthPort bounces back, hands SMB worst loss in recent history

Prince Ibeh soars for the jam. Dennis Acosta
By Xy-Zha Cabanlong

MANILA — It did not matter that they only have 10 active players to play, North Port Batang Pier came out strong and defeated the San Miguel Beermen in high fashion, 121-88 in the second game of the midweek doubleheader of the PBA Commissioner's Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.

The first quarter was a close one for both teams, with the Beermen taking advantage of Prince Ibeh's early foul trouble.

The NorthPort import got three fouls in the opening quarter alone, making it a challenge for the Batang Pier to sail away against the recently enthroned All-Filipino champions.

The opening quarter ended with the two teams inseparable at 25 apiece.

Robert Bolick opened up the scoring for the Batang Pier side and broke the tie with a triple to tally in a 28-25 scoreline.

His basket also opened up the pathway for North Port to change the tempo of the game according to their favour.

It was in the second quarter that North Port was able to sail away from the Beermen, leaving them trailing by as much as 6 points.

The turning point for them, however was when Nico Elorde was able to fish the 4th foul of San Miguel's import, Charles Rhodes.

Rhodes had to sit out at what time left for the second quarter only to see his team trailing further.

The second quarter sealed off with a comfortable 13-point lead by NorthPort, 54-41, following back to back triples by Elorde and Bolick.

In spite the efforts of the Beermen to cut the lead, Batang Pier were simply unstoppable as they kept on hitting shots from beyond the arch and converting from the turnovers committed by their opponent.

With only 4:58 minutes left to play in the third, Jonathan Grey completed three free throws off a foul to give NorthPort a 20-point lead only to be vindicated by Von Pessumal's three-point field goal with 4:32 remaining.

North Port completed a massive 15-3 run in the dying minutes of the third quarter, with Grey sealing off the quarter's tally at 91-61 with a basket off a quick pass from Elorde.

The fourth quarter become rather one-sided in spite the efforts coming from the Beermen to cut the lead to 15 points.

NorthPort kept killing them with fastbreaks and outside shooting coming from Garvo Lanete, Bolick and even Mo Tautuaa.

At 6:02 left in the final quarter, San Miguel's defensive moves turned into desperation as Arwind Santos was found guilty of a deliberate foul against Elorde.

Elorde completed the foul shots to give NorthPort a 107-71 lead.

Knowing that they do not have much time left, Louie Vigil tried to stop the time and made a defensive stop against NorthPort only to be found guilty of a foul on Grey's attempt to score a triple. Grey's trip to the foul line extended the lead of the Batang Pier to 36, 119-83, with only 1:04 left to play.

San Miguel's 33-point defeat in the hands of NorthPort is their worst in the recent history of the team.

Robert Bolick was named as the best player of the game, garnering 25 points.

The scores:

NorthPort 121 - Bolick 25, Ibeh 18, Lanete 16, Grey 16, Tautuaa 11, Elorde 11, Anthony 10, Taha 9, Flores 3, Gabayni 2.

San Miguel 88 - Rhodes 27, Fajardo 19, Santos 11, Pessumal 11, Standhardinger 6, Cabagnot 5, Zamar 4, Vigil 3, Lassiter 2, Rosser 0, Mamaril 0.

Quarerscores: 25-25, 54-41, 91-63, 121-88

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