PBA Governors' Cup

Scorching NorthPort turns back Terrafirma for 5th straight win

Delfin Dioquino
Scorching NorthPort turns back Terrafirma for 5th straight win

ALL-AROUND. Robert Bolick flirts with a triple-double as NorthPort stretches its win run.

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Four NorthPort players score at least 20 points as the Batang Pier storm back from a 19-point deficit to topple the Terrafirma Dyip

MANILA, Philippines – Red-hot NorthPort inched closer to playoff berth in the PBA Governors’ Cup after hacking out a come-from-behind 124-117 win over Terrafirma at the Araneta Coliseum on Saturday, March 5.

Import Jamel Artis churned out a near triple-double of 31 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists to lead four Batang Pier players who scored at least 20 points as NorthPort extended its winning streak to five games.

Starting the conference with five straight losses, the Batang Pier have entered the playoff picture with a 5-5 record, forging a three-way tie at seventh place with Barangay Ginebra and Phoenix.

Arwind Santos also shone with 28 points and 9 rebounds as he hit timely buckets that helped turn the tides for NorthPort, which trailed by as many as 19 points.

Like Artis, Robert Bolick flirted with a triple-double after putting up 21 points, 17 assists, 7 rebounds, and 3 steals, while Jamie Malonzo contributed 21 points, 12 rebounds, and 4 steals.

The Dyip enjoyed their biggest lead at 67-48 late in the second quarter and went into the break up 69-57 behind a monstrous 26-point, 9-rebound first-half performance from import Antonio Hester.

Everything, though, went downhill for Terrafirma.

Santos and Artis sank two triples each in the last four minutes of the third quarter to cut their deficit to a whisker, 96-97, before Malonzo slammed home a dunk to give the Batang Pier a 100-99 lead early in the final salvo.

The Dyip knotted the score at 112-112 with 3:30 minutes left, but Santos sunk a pull up jumper that sparked an 8-0 spurt as NorthPort completed its comeback.

Kevin Ferrer added 11 points for the Batang Pier in his return after missing the last four games due to an injury.

Hester finished with 40 points, 18 rebounds, and 2 steals in another heartbreaking loss as also-ran Terrafirma dropped to 2-8.

With the NorthPort win, Rain or Shine (3-7) also bowed out of playoff contention.

Joshua Munzon backstopped Hester with 24 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 steals.

The Scores

NorthPort 124 – Artis 31, Santos 28, Bolick 21, Malonzo 21, Ferrer 11, Balanza 4, Taha 4, Doliguez 2, Rike 2. 

Terrafirma 117 – Hester 40, Munzon 24, Tiongson 18, Daquioag 10, Calvo 8, Go 5, Ramos 4, Camson 4, Cahilig 2, Pascual 2, Batiller 0.

Quarters: 35-33, 59-67, 96-97, 124-117. 

– 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.