NorthPort turns back Alaska to prop up playoff bid
MANILA, Philippines – NorthPort pulled the rug from under Alaska, 94-84, to arrest a fourth-quarter meltdown and boost its playoff hopes in the 2019 PBA Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday, March 27.
After squandering an 11-point lead in the payoff period, the Batang Pier regained their bearings behind Sean Anthony and Stanley Pringle to notch their second straight win and improve to 4-6 for 7th place.
The Aces, meanwhile, slipped to 9th place as they ended the elimination round with a 4-7 card behind back-to-back losses.
With the win, NorthPort narrowed the race for the last two quarterfinals berths to 3 teams with Alaska and NLEX (4-6), eliminating Meralco (3-7) and Columbian (4-7) from contention due to inferior quotients.
Anthony chalked up 24 points – with 8 coming in the final frame – to go with 17 rebounds and 3 steals while Pringle scored 12 of his 21 points in the 4th quarter as the Batang Pier clinched the win off a 23-10 run.
Trailing 60-71 entering the 4th period, Alaska unloaded 14 straight points to take the upper hand before Anthony and Pringle hit a layup and a triple to restore order for NorthPort, 76-74.
The Aces never tasted the lead again as the Batang Pier's deadly duo continued to take control in the endgame.
Mo Tautuaa added 14 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists while Jonathan Grey chipped in 13 points in the win.
Carl Bryan Cruz caught fire from deep with 6 triples but his 23-point effort was not enough for Alaska to enhance its playoff chances.
Sonny Thoss had 14 points and 10 rebounds and Simon Enciso delivered 11 points and 5 assists in the loss.
NorthPort 94 – Anthony 24, Pringle 21, Tautuaa 14, Grey 13, Flores 6, Taha 6, Bolick 3, Guinto 3, Elorde 2, Sollano 2, Lanete 0.
Alaska 84 – Cruz 23, Thoss 14, Enciso 11, Banchero 8, Pascual 8, Ayaay 6, Casio 5, Baclao 3, Teng 2, Galliguez 2, Racal 2, Exciminiano 0.
Quarters: 16-19, 40-37, 71-60, 94-84.