PBA Governors' Cup

Surging NorthPort stretches win streak, topples Phoenix

Delfin Dioquino
Surging NorthPort stretches win streak, topples Phoenix

BALANCED. Paolo Taha and four more NorthPort players score in double figures against Phoenix.

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NorthPort bolsters its late charge for a playoff berth in the PBA Governors' Cup after a horrendous 0-5 start

MANILA, Philippines – NorthPort continued its ascent from irrelevance after trouncing Phoenix, 101-93, for its third straight win in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Ynares Center in Antipolo on Saturday, February 26.

Import Jamel Artis once again went the full route and played 48 minutes, putting up 29 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists as the Batang Pier bolstered their late charge for a playoff berth after a horrendous 0-5 start.

Still missing the service of star guard Robert Bolick, who is reinforcing Gilas Pilipinas in the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers, NorthPort received ample support from its local cast with four more scoring in double figures.

Paolo Taha came off the bench and chalked up a conference-high 19 points, Arwind Santos delivered 15 points, 9 rebounds, and 3 blocks, while Jerrick Balanza added 12 points, 6 assists, 4 rebounds, and 2 steals.

Jamie Malonzo frolicked inside the paint for the Batang Pier with a double-double of 13 points and 16 rebounds.

Phoenix stayed within shouting distance after an RJ Jazul triple cut their deficit to 93-97 with a minute left, but failed to score the rest of the way as NorthPort closed it out with 4 straight points.

Matthew Wright muffed a pair of three-pointers in the final minute that would have made it a one-possession game for the Fuel Masters before Santos hammered the nail in the coffin with a two-handed slam.

Import Domique Sutton netted 23 points, 12 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 steals, but his best game in a Phoenix uniform went for naught as the Fuel Masters slumped into their third straight defeat.

Once at the top of the standings after winning its first two games, Phoenix has lost five of its last seven matches and dropped to eighth place, just half a game ahead of the Batang Pier.

Wright finished with 22 points, 6 assists, and 5 rebounds, while Jazul fired 20 points in the loss.

The Scores

NorthPort 101 – Artis 29, Taha 19, Santos 15, Malonzo 13, Balanza 12, Rike 5, Doliguez 4, Sumang 2, Subido 2, Abundo 0.

Phoenix 93 – Sutton 23, Wright 22, Jazul 20, Perkins 12, Manganti 8, Melecio 4, Demusis 2, Camacho 2, Garcia 0, Pascual 0, Rios 0, Robles 0, Porter 0.

Quarters: 23-18, 50-43, 81-70, 101-93.

– Rappler.com

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.