MANILA, Philippines – NorthPort slayed the giant in NLEX to keep its playoff hopes alive in the 2019 PBA Governors' Cup with a convincing 102-94 victory at the Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday, November 13.
Import Michael Qualls carried the scoring load with 36 points on top of 11 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 blocks and 2 steals as the Batang Pier snapped the five-game winning streak of the league-leading Road Warriors.
Christian Standhardinger put up 23 points and 19 rebounds to backstop Qualls for NorthPort, which ended a two-game slide and improved to 4-5 to leapfrog Alaska for the No. 8 spot.
The Batang Pier started sluggishly and trailed by as many as 15 points, 7-22, before slowly chiseling away at the Road Warriors' lead to take an 81-78 advantage heading into the final quarter.
Qualls took over in the payoff period, scattering 11 points of his output as NLEX never tasted the lead again en route to its first loss in more than a month.
Sean Anthony finished with 19 points, 7 rebounds, 3 steals, and 2 blocks in the win, while Kevin Ferrer chipped in 9 points off 3 triples with 6 rebounds.
Import Manny Harris delivered 34 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 blocks for the Road Warriors, who absorbed their second loss in 10 outings.
Despite the defeat, NLEX stayed atop the team standings tied with Meralco.
Kiefer Ravena churned out 16 points, 4 assists, and 3 rebounds as JR Quinahan pumped in 10 points and 5 rebounds in the losing effort.
NorthPort 102 - Qualls 36, Standhardinger 23, Anthony 19, Ferrer 9, Elorde 7, Taha 4, Lanete 2, Mercado 2, King 0, Escoto 0.
NLEX 94 - Harris 34, Ravena 16, Quinahan 10, Erram 7, Cruz 7, Fonacier 6, Miranda 5, Paniamogan 4, Taulava 3, Soyud 2, Alas 0, Ighalo 0.
Quarters: 25-28, 43-51, 81-78, 102-94.
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.