Venky Jois explodes for 43 in PBA debut as NorthPort edges Terrafirma

Venky Jois outplayed Thomas De Thaey in their PBA debuts. PBA Images
By Ivan Saldajeno

MAKATI--Venky Jois introduced himself to the PBA community with a bang as he led NorthPort to a 108-103 win against Terrafirma on Day 3 of the Commissioner's Cup on Friday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.

Jois dropped 43 points to pace the Batang Pier, which fought back within the last 3:40 of the game to take down the Dyip.

Down 98-97 with less than four and a half minutes left, NorthPort regained the lead with a Jois layup with 3:40 to go.

Arvin Tolentino then scored on a slam before Jois capped a 6-0 mini-run with a layup for a 103-98 cushion with 1:51 left.

Terrafirma inched closer after three straight free throws cut the lead down to two, 103-101, with 51 seconds to go.

Jois somehow kept the Dyip in the game after only converting a split from the free throw line in the next play.

However, Juami Tiongson dished out an errant pass leading to a crucial turnover that Tolentino converted into two charities for a 106-101 lead with 19 seconds left.

Stephen Holt made two free throws of his own for their last gasp, but Fran Yu iced the game for the Batang Pier with two charities of his own.

Jois dominated the field, going 19-for-27 while also grabbing 10 rebounds, three assists, one block, and three steals, although he might need to work on his free throws as he went 4-for-15 from the foul line.

Tolentino added 16 points, one rebound, two assists, three steals, and two blocks off the bench for NorthPort.

In their own PBA debuts, Cade Flores made nine points, 12 rebounds, one block, and one steal, Yu and Brent Paraiso each chipped in five markers, and John Amores contributed three.

Tiongson finished with 21 points, four rebounds, and seven assists, while Thomas De Thaey added 20 points, seven rebounds, and one block for Terrafirma.

Holt, the first overall pick of the previous draft, made a living from the free throw line in his much-anticipated PBA debut, going 7-for-8 to make up for his poor three-point shooting where he went 0-for-5 and ending up with 11 points alongside six rebounds, five assists, and four steals.

Kemark Carino also debuted PBA-wise with 10 points, nine rebounds, two blocks, and one steal, while Tommy Olivario was held scoreless in almost 18 minutes but he had two rebounds and three assists.

Isaac Go had a quiet two points, three rebounds, and one assist in his first regular season game back from an ACL injury.

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