NorthPort rookie Troy Rike had the game of his life as the Batang Pier blasted the ice-cold Phoenix Fuel Masters, 115-79, in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig on Wednesday, July 21.
The former US NCAA and UAAP prospect dropped a career-high 20 points on 6-of-7 shooting from downtown, including four straight treys in the payoff period that let the Batang Pier keep a 32-point lead, 97-65, with 8:15 left in regulation.
Robert Bolick helped facilitate that eruption with 20 points of his own to go with a game-high 11 assists and 7 rebounds, while Kevin Ferrer also chipped in 20 markers and a game-high 9 boards off the bench.
Prior to that shootout, however, NorthPort first seized full control of the game at the start of the second quarter following a massive 17-2 run capped by a Paolo Taha layup at the 6:31 mark.
While the Fuel Masters’ shooting woes continued on as they missed their first 20 triples, the Batang Pier on the other hand kept their offensive spark alive all game long and peaked with a 36-point gap for the final score.
After a forgettable first game where NorthPort registered a franchise-worst 63 points, head coach Pido Jarencio is just glad that his game plan worked perfectly this time around.
“Just defense. Actually we had a whole session concentrating on defense. If we make stops, the offense will just come. It all started on defense. The players were so responsive. For me this will be our game and the flow will just follow,” he said.
Phoenix newcomer Vic Manuel did his own thing inside the paint while his teammates grew ice-cold from outside, finishing the loss with a game-high 26 points off the bench, plus 4 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 blocks.
NorthPort 115 – Bolick 20, Rike 20, Ferrer 20, Onwubere 15, Malonzo 15, Taha 12, Elorde 6, Faundo 4, Balanza 3, Subido 0, Doliguez 0, Grey 0.
Phoenix 79 – Manuel 26, Wright 15, Perkins 12, Jazul 8, Garcia 6, Melecio 4, Demusis 2, Chua 2, Pascual 2, Rios 2, Faundo 0, Muyang 0, Calisaan 0, Napoles 0, Tamsi 0.
Quarters: 22-18, 50-31, 79-51, 115-79.