MANILA, Philippines – The already-ran Kia Picanto almost played spoiler in the playoff race but the GlobalPort Batang Pier proved steadier in the endgame, taking home a 108-91 win in the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum Wednesday, February 21.
GlobalPort squandered a 16-point lead they built by halftime as the Picanto held a slim 85-84 advantage midway the 4th quarter off a Reden Celda and-one with 7:58 minutes left.
However, the Batang Pier regained their bearings and staged a game-clinching 24-6 run, sparked by back-to-back Stanley Pringle triples, to bag their 5th win in 10 outings and tie Barangay Ginebra at 6th place.
“It’s a total team effort. ‘Yung team gusto talaga pumasok sa playoffs, sa quarters. ‘Yung standing namin medyo maganda,” said GlobalPort head coach Pido Jarencio.
(It’s a total team effort. The players really want to advance to the playoffs, to the quarterfinals. We are on a good standing.)
Kelly Nabong starred for the Batang Pier with 21 points, 13 rebounds and 5 blocks while Sean Anthony also had 21 points, 8 rebounds and 4 steals.
Pringle added 15 points, 9 coming in the final quarter, to go with 8 rebounds, 5 assists and two steals and Julian Sargent chipped in 12 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists in the win.
GlobalPort dominated the rebound and assist departments, hauling down 73 rebounds and issuing 25 assists compared to Kia’s 47 boards and 17 dishes.
Kia opened the game on a high note, leading 26-23 after the maiden period before the Batang Pier rode on a 14-0 run for a 44-32 cushion.
Celda finished with 20 points, 5 assists and 4 rebounds for the Picanto, who absorbed their 9th loss in 10 games. They remained at last place.
Jon Gabriel had 17 points and 11 rebounds while Rashawn McCarthy added 14 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists and two steals in the losing effort.
GlobalPort (108): Nabong 21, Anthony 21, Pringle 15, Sargent 12, Teng 7, Grey 6, Flores 6, Gabayni 6, Guinto 6, Juico 4, Elorde 2, Arana 2, Taha 0
Kia (91): Celda 20, Gabriel 17, McCarthy 14, Camson 12, Jamon 9, Corpuz 5, Tubid 5, Sara 4, Cabrera 2, Yee 0, Lastimosa 0, Galanza 0, Escoto 0, Khobuntin 0, Ababou 0
Quarter scores: 23-26, 51-40, 78-67, 108-91