MANILA, Philippines – Robert Bolick delivered the goods for the NorthPort Batang Pier as they finally barged into the PBA Governors’ Cup win column with a 109-98 upset of the erstwhile unbeaten Meralco Bolts on Thursday, February 17, at the Araneta Coliseum.
After rejoining the Batang Pier just a week ago following a contract negotiation, Bolick, who is also part of the Gilas Pilipinas pool, finished with a solid all-around outing of 21 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists, and 3 steals.
With the win, NorthPort snapped its five-game losing skid and improved to 1-5 in the standings, while Meralco, which saw its impressive four-game winning streak come to an end, dropped its record to 4-1.
Already leading by as many as 19 points, 30-11, with 2 minutes to play in the opening quarter, Meralco failed to keep its scorching run going the rest of the way as NorthPort managed to cut the deficit back to just a single point, 48-47, late in the first half.
With the Bolts still on top, 54-48, early in the third quarter, the Batang Pier then suddenly turned things around, unleashing a massive 33-10 rally to lead by 17, 81-64, before entering the fourth and final frame.
It was all Northport from that point on as it even extended its advantage to its biggest at 20 markers, 86-66, with only 11 minutes left in the ball game.
Jamel Artis topscored for NorthPort with 26 points, to go along with 8 rebounds, while Arwind Santos and Jamie Malonzo added 16 and 14 points, respectively.
On the other side, Tony Bishop continued to sizzle for Meralco as he recorded a monster double-double of 34 points and 16 rebounds.
Meralco’s newly acquired guard Chris Banchero backstopped Bishop in the losing effort with 23 points, while Allein Maliksi also chipped in 14 markers.
The Batang Pier will look to make it two in a row when they face the league-leading Magnolia Hotshots on Thursday, February 24, while the Bolts aim to return to their winning ways when they take on the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters on Sunday, February 20.
NorthPort 109 – Artis 26, Bolick 22, Santos 16, Malonzo 14, Balanza 12, Rike 10, Sumang 9, Taha 0, Ferrer 0.
Meralco 98 – Bishop 34, Banchero 23, Maliksi 14, Newsome 7, Pasaol 6, Hodge 4, Quinto 3, Almazan 3, Hugnatan 2, Caram 2, Belo 0.
Quarters: 18-32, 47-50, 81-64, 109-98.