MANILA, Philippines – NorthPort Batang Pier ended their four-game skid as they topped the Phoenix Fuel Masters, 80-70, in the 2019 PBA Governors’ Cup on Saturday, October 12 at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Mo Tautuaa topscored for NorthPort with 16 points on top of 9 rebounds and 4 assists as the team’s timely counter runs and solid defense also helped propel Batang Pier to their second win of the conference.
Paolo Taha and Garvo Lanete likewise had a huge first half for Batang Pier and scored 14 and 11 markers, respectively.
Import Mychal Ammons held his ground in the post and chipped in 12 points and 6 rebounds for Batang Pier, who improved their card to 2-4.
Nico Elorde also drilled crucial baskets in the final canto and had 9 points and 5 assists.
Locking in its interior defense, NorthPort immediately held the Fuel Masters to only 8 points in the opening quarter.
Phoenix regrouped in the 2nd period as Eugene Phelps nailed two freebies that capped an 11-2 blast, but NorthPort responded with Lanete drilling a trey just before the buzzer for a 38-31 lead at the end of the first half.
Both squads exchanged runs in the 3rd period before the Fuel Masters rallied late once again with 7 straight points to cut NorthPort's lead to three, 58-55, heading to the final quarter.
Jason Perkins' jumper finally gave Phoenix their first lead of the game, 61-60, but NorthPort again countered with an 8-0 rally to regain a seven-point advantage midway through the 4th quarter.
Ammons and Kevin Ferrer, then, delivered back-to-back baskets to give Batang Pier a comfortable 80-68 lead with 24 seconds remaining in the clock.
Alex Mallari scored 15 points while big man Phelps flirted with a triple-double and had 14 points, 14 rebounds and 8 assists for Phoenix, which fell to a 2-5 slate.
NorthPort 80 – Tautuaa 16, Taha 14, Ammons 12, Lanete 11, Elorde 9, Ferrer 8, Bolick 5, Cruz 4, Anthony 1, Mercado 0, Escoto 0, King 0.
Phoenix 70 – Mallari 15, Phelps 14, Perkins 10, Garcia 9, Napoles 8, Jazul 6, Chua 2, Kramer 2, Marcelo 2, Dennison 2, Wright 0, Potts 0,
Quarters: 17-8, 38-31, 58-55, 80-70.