NorthPort completed its comeback from 11 points down in the closing minutes of the 3rd period to stun Meralco, 93-92, in the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup, Friday night at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City.
Rookie Robert Bolick delivered the go-ahead basket with the game clock down to the last 3 seconds before Chris Newsome bungled a possible game-winner as time expired to give the Batang Pier its 9th win of the conference as against 2 losses.
The victory gave NorthPort a chance to finish on top if and when TNT drops its game against the sliding Magnolia Hotshots on Wednesday, July 17. A win by the KaTropa will hand the Pido Jarencio-mentored squad the 2nd seed going into the next round.
On the other hand, the loss dropped the Bolts to 3-7 and is now in a must-win situation against San Miguel in its final outing to stay alive in the tight race for a playoff berth.
“Gusto ng mga players going to the playoffs, we’re coming off a win, and at the same time, a strong finish for us,” said Jarencio during the post-game interview.
Bolick paced the Batang Pier with 18 markers while Prince Ibeh contributed a double-double of 15 points and 15 boards. Sol Mercado and Nico Elorde added 12 and 10 points, respectively.
Newsome led the way for the Bolts with 21 points while Delroy James finished with a triple-double of 17 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists.
NorthPort 93 – Bolick 18, Ibeh 15, Mercado 12, Elorde 10, Ferrer 9, Lanete 9, Tautuaa 6, Cruz 5, Flores 5, Taha 4, Arana 0, Gabayni 0.
Meralco 92 – Newsome 21, James 17, Amer 16, Hodge 13, De Ocampo 10, Faundo 4, Almazan 4, Quinto 4, Tolomia 2, Hugnatan 1, Salva 0, Pinto 0, Canaleta 0, Jackson 0.
Quarterscores: 22-28, 45-43, 62-67, 93-92.