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NorthPort comes alive in final 9 minutes to edge Blackwater

Prince Ibeh once again made significant contributions for NorthPort. Dennis Acosta
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—NorthPort scorched hot within the final nine minutes of its PBA Commissioner's Cup game against Blackwater on Wednesday for an 87-83 win at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.

Down 66-74 early in the final frame, the Batang Pier unleashed a 16-5 run midway through the fourth quarter to go up, 82-79, with 4:06 remaining.

The Bossing tried one last gasp after Troy Rosario converted a layup that stopped their bleeding and cut the lead to one, 82-81, with 2:57 left, but a dagger jumper from Arwind Santos and a split from Prince Ibeh basically sealed it for the Batang Pier.

Cameron Krutwig opted to go for a late layup in hopes of getting a Blackwater steal to possibly force overtime, but Jerrick Balanza was left all alone at the other side of the court for the buzzer-beating breakaway layup.

Ibeh finished with 19 points, 10 rebounds, two assists, two blocks, and two steals for NorthPort, which broke a tie with Blackwater and moved up to 3-2.

Arvin Tolentino added 15 points, six rebounds, one steal, and two blocks, while Santos chipped in 14 markers, 10 boards, two dimes, two steals, and one block.

Krutwig fired 28 points with 17 rebounds and four assists for Blackwater, which fell to 2-3.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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