PBA Governors' Cup

Red-hot NorthPort focused on task at hand as PBA playoff race heats up

Delfin Dioquino
Red-hot NorthPort focused on task at hand as PBA playoff race heats up

STREAK. Arwind Santos and NorthPort are the hottest team in the PBA right now.

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Coach Pido Jarencio is in no celebratory mood even after NorthPort won its fifth straight game as the Batang Pier keep their focus on a coveted playoff berth

MANILA, Philippines – One more hurdle.

NorthPort head coach Pido Jarencio is in no celebratory mood even after the Batang Pier won their fifth straight game as they keep their focus on a coveted playoff berth in the PBA Governors’ Cup.

To bolster those chances, NorthPort needs to beat defending Philippine Cup champion TNT Tropang Giga in its final elimination round game to finish with a 6-5 record.

“I told them that our four, five straight wins will not matter if we will not win our last game, which is crucial if we want to reach the playoffs,” Jarencio said in Filipino after beating Terrafirma, 124-117, on Saturday, March 5.

“Our goal is to win against Talk N Text and get that quarterfinal slot.”

The hottest team in the PBA right now, the Batang Pier almost saw their fiery streak come to a screeching halt as the Dyip enjoyed a lead as big as 19 points in the first quarter.

But NorthPort rallied and banked on the quartet of import Jamel Artis, Arwind Santos, Robert Bolick, and Jamie Malonzo to complete the 26-point turnaround.

Artis delivered 31 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists, Santos chalked up 28 points and 9 rebounds, while Bolick put up 21 points, 17 assists, and 7 rebounds.

Malonzo breached the 20-point mark as well, netting 21 points, 12 rebounds, and 4 steals.

The Batang Pier also received sufficient help from comebacking forward Kevin Ferrer, who contributed 11 points after missing the last four games due to an injury.

“Everything is falling into place. We did not have players before and now we’re coming together, which is a good sign,” Jarencio said.

“The return of Kevin and Bolick and the other guys stepping up, those are a big help to all of us.”

NorthPort and TNT duke it out in the final game of the elimination round on March 11. – 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.