PBA Commissioner’s Cup

NorthPort back to PBA playoffs after sending Blackwater to 9th straight loss

Delfin Dioquino

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NorthPort back to PBA playoffs after sending Blackwater to 9th straight loss

LOOSE BALL. Joshua Munzon in action for the NorthPort Batang Pier in the 2023-24 PBA Commissioner's Cup.

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Joshua Munzon and import Venky Jois both deliver all-around performances as NorthPort becomes the sixth team to claim a seat in the quarterfinals

MANILA, Philippines – NorthPort earned a trip back to the PBA playoffs after cruising to a 106-89 romp of Blackwater in the Commissioner’s Cup at the Araneta Coliseum on Friday, January 5.

Joshua Munzon and import Venky Jois both delivered all-around performances as the Batang Pier snapped a two-game skid to improve to 6-4 and become the sixth team to claim a seat in the quarterfinals.

Munzon turned in arguably his finest performance of the conference, churning out 20 points on top of 4 rebounds, 4 assists, and 4 steals to lead six NorthPort players in double-digit scoring.

The top pick in the 2020 draft, Munzon unloaded 16 points of his output in the middle quarters as the Batang Pier turned a slim 18-17 lead at the end of the opening period to an 84-66 cushion going into the final salvo.

Jois did it all with 19 points, 20 rebounds, 7 assists, 3 blocks, and 2 steals to guide NorthPort back into the playoffs after it failed to reach the quarterfinals in the Governors’ Cup last season.

Paul Zamar fired all of his 13 points in the pivotal third quarter, while JM Calma, Arvin Tolentino, and Kris Rosales added 10 points each in the win.

Calma and Tolentino found time for 9 and 6 rebounds, respectively, as the Batang Pier sent the luckless Bossing to their ninth straight defeat.

With a chance to salvage some pride after crashing out of playoff contention, Blackwater seized a 24-20 lead early in the second quarter before it came apart and got buried 35-45 at halftime.

Rey Suerte tallied 20 points and 4 rebounds in the loss, while rookie Christian David saw his first PBA double-double of 17 points and 11 rebounds go down the drain.

Import Chris Ortiz had 14 points and 13 rebounds for the Bossing, who fell to last place with a 1-9 slate.

The Scores

NorthPort 106 – Munzon 20, Jois 19, Zzamar 13, Calma 10, Tolentino 10, Rosales 10, Amores 7, Yu 6, Bulanadi 5, Flores 5, Paraiso 1, Taha 0, Chan 0, Adamos 0

Blackwater 89 – Suerte 20, David 17, Ortiz 14, Concepcion 10, Kwukuteye 8, Ilagan 7, Escoto 5, DiGregorio 3, Jopia 2, Hill 2, Ular 1, Amer 0, Guinto 0, Banal 0

Quarters: 18-17, 45-35, 84-66, 106-89.

– Rappler.com

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.