MANILA, Philippines – NorthPort built a lead just enough to eke out a 102-99 win over Magnolia and claim a share of the lead in the 2019 PBA Commissioner's Cup at the Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday, June 12.
Sean Anthony finished with 22 points, 8 rebounds, 5 steals, 4 assists, and most importantly, knocked down 4 crucial free throws down the stretch as the Batang Pier hiked their record to 5-1.
The win propelled NorthPort to a tie with Blackwater at the top of the team standings.
Although down by as many as 16 points, the Hotshots did not fizzle out and unloaded a 9-2 spurt late to inch within 3 points, 95-98, with 35 seconds remaining.
But that was the closest Magnolia could get as Anthony displayed steely nerves with his foul shots.
It was not just Anthony who shone for the Batang Pier, though, as Paolo Taha finished with 16 points, Mo Tautuaa chipped in 14 points, 11 rebounds, and 4 assists, while Jonathan Grey added 14 points and 4 rebounds.
Also making their presence felt in the win were Nico Elorde, who had 12 points, Robert Bolick, who chimed in 11 points, 9 assists, and 5 rebounds, and import Prince Ibeh, who delivered 10 points, 13 rebounds, and 4 blocks.
Ian Sangalang paced the Hotshots, who remained winless in two games, with 21 points and 10 rebounds, while Robert Herndon fired 18 points.
James Farr, who replaced John Fields as Magnolia import, finished with 11 points, 14 rebounds, 4 assists, and 4 steals, while Paul Lee added 16 points and 8 assists in the losing effort.
NorthPort 102 - Anthony 22, Taha 16, Tautuaa 14, Grey 14, Elorde 12, Bolick 11, Ibeh 10, Lanete 3, Gabayni 0.
Magnolia 99 - Sangalang 21, Herndon 18, Lee 16, Barroca 14, Farr 11, Jalalon 7, Brondial 5, Ramos 3, Melton 2, Dela Rosa 2, Pascual 0.
Quarters: 16-23, 48-43, 70-62, 102-99.
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.