MANILA, Philippines – Enduring a dismal start in the PBA Governors’ Cup, NorthPort picked up steam behind Kevin Murphy and withstood Blackwater in a 110-104 victory at the Araneta Coliseum on Saturday, February 25.
The American import and lead guard Robert Bolick delivered the goods late as the Batang Pier claimed their second consecutive win after opening the conference with six straight losses to boost their bid for a late playoff push.
Murphy submitted his best game in a NorthPort uniform, churning out 47 points, 16 rebounds, and 4 steals, including a pivotal three-point play that gave his side a 105-101 lead with a minute left.
Bolick then came up with the finishing blows and scored their last 5 points as he chalked up 24 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists off the bench.
A JVee Casio three-pointer cut the Bossing deficit to 104-108 before Bolick iced the game by canning his pair of free throws inside the final 15 seconds.
Batang Pier rookie JM Calma scored in double figures for the third game in a row with 10 points and 5 rebounds, while Arvin Tolentino added 9 points.
“I hope we can continue this rise,” said NorthPort head coach Bonnie Tan in Filipino. “Hopefully, we can gain momentum.”
The Batang Pier trailed 49-58 at halftime as Blackwater banked on a 13-point first half from Gab Banal, but NorthPort turned the tides in the second half, where it outscored its foes 61-46.
Banal ended the game with a season-high 19 points on top of 4 rebounds and 3 assists only to witness his commendable performance go for naught as the Bossing crashed to their eighth straight defeat.
Import Shawn Glover produced 20 points, 9 rebounds, and 3 assists for Blackwater, which dropped to 1-9, while Casio fired 14 points.
Mike Ayonayon chimed in 12 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists in the loss.
NorthPort 110 – Murphy 47, Bolick 24, Calma 10, Tolentino 9, Zamar 6, Sumang 6, Chan 3, Taha 2, Santos 2, Munzon 1, Balagasay 0, Caperal 0.
Blackwater 104 – Glover 20, Banal 19, Casio 14, Ayonayon 12, Taha 9, Ular 8, Suerte 7, Rosario 7, Ilagan 6, Hill 2, Escoto 0, DiGregorio 0, Amer 0.
Quarters: 25-21, 49-58, 74-78, 110-104.
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