There is life for NorthPort after Stanley Pringle after all.
Getting significant contributions from the three former Brgy. Ginebra players who came in via the Pringle trade, the Batang Pier picked up its 4th straight win and more importantly a share of top spot with a 127-99 dismantling of import-less Blackwater, Saturday night at the Cuneta Astrodome.
Kevin Ferrer, Jervy Cruz and Sol Mercado combined for 53 points as the trio more than made up for the departure of the 2018 league scoring champion.
“Sinabi ko naman sa inyo, makakatulong ‘yung tatlo. Nakita natin tumulong. Kahit papaano gumanda rotation natin,” said Batang Pier coach Pido Jarencio.
“Basta kami we just take care of business. Basta every game ang goal namin to be in the top two para makuha namin iyung twice-to-beat advantage,” he added.
The win improved Batang Pier’s record to 7-1 and gave the team a playoff berth for the second straight time this season.
Former Phoenix import Jameel McKay came in as a last-minute replacement for Alex Stepheson but was forced to sit out the game after failing to secure a FIBA clearance. He will suit up for the Elite’s next game which is against the Magnolia Hotshots on July 5.
Ferrer paced NorthPort with 23 points on 5 of 11 shooting from 3-point country while Sean Anthony came up with 22 points, 11 boards, 4 assists and 3 steals. Cruz finished with 16 points and 11 rebounds while Robert Bolick and Mercado added 16 and 14 points, respectively.
Ray Parks led the Elite with 25 points, 11 rebounds and 4 assists.
NorthPort 127 – Ferrer 23, Anthony 22, Bolick 16, Cruz 16, Mercado 14, Ibeh 10, Taha 10, Tautuaa 8, Lanete 8, Gabayni 0.
Blackwater 99 – Parks 25, Al-Hussaini 16, Digregorio 10, Maliksi 10, Belo 10, Tratter 6, Alolino 5, Sumang 5, Desiderio 5, Javier 4, Salem 3, Cortez 0, Sena 0, Jose 0.
Quarterscores: 29-21, 54-39, 86-65, 127-99.