NorthPort has shown it could play well and win.
On Saturday, the Batang Pier also displayed their capability to emerge victorious from a bad game.
Sean Anthony came up huge in the endgame and helped NorthPort eke out an 83-79 decision over a gritty NLEX side and grab a share of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup lead at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Anthony’s putback and free throws inside the last 16 seconds proved to be the marginal points in the Petron Saturday Special offering and pointed the Batang Pier to a followup to their 103-81 win over Alaska last Wednesday.
The Elite joined Blackwater at the top, although the Elite can break out of that tie should they prevail over winless Columbian Sunday.
The win is something NorthPort coach Pido Jarencio would readily accept. But not the way it was fashioned against an opponent playing without an import yet dragged his team to a grind-out game.
NorthPort 83 – Bolick 18, Anthony 17, Ibeh 15, Tautuaa 14, Taha 10, Elorde 6, Grey 3, Lanete 0, Gabayni 0.
NLEX 79 – Ighalo 18, Soyud 12, Galanza 11, Erram 10, Fonacier 7, Tiongson 6, Paniamogan 5, Magat 4, Paredes 2, Baguio 2, Lao 2, Taulava 0, Rios 0, Tallo 0.
Quarterscores: 18-25, 35-43, 59-57, 83-79.