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MANILA, Philippines – Arvin Tolentino took over down the stretch and propelled NorthPort to a 104-100 win over Terrafirma in the PBA On Tour at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City on Sunday, July 9.
Tolentino scored the last 7 points for the Batang Pier and finished with a game-high 28 in total as they still got the job done after squandering a 17-point lead.
A Gelo Alolino triple and an Isaac Go and-one gave the Dyip a 99-97 edge with two minutes left before Tolentino saved the day for NorthPort.
Tolentino, who also churned out 9 rebounds and 2 blocks, knocked down a three-pointer to push the Batang Pier ahead, 100-99, padded their lead off a nifty post move, then sealed the deal with a pair of free throws.
Paul Zamar delivered 21 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals in the victory, while JM Calma chimed in with a near-double-double of 18 points and 9 rebounds.
Joshua Munzon added 14 points for NorthPort, which improved to an even 4-4.
“We’re happy with the win. Breaks of the game. Terrafirma played well, especially in the second half,” said Batang Pier coach Bonnie Tan. “We had a hard time but fortunately, they got unlucky in the end.”
Buried in a hole as deep as 18-35, Terrafirma refused to surrender and chiseled away at its deficit by riding the hot hand of star guard Juami Tiongson.
Tiongson scored 20 of his team-high 25 points in the middle periods as the Dyip entered the final frame trailing by single digits, 76-83.
Alolino and Go then combined for 17 points in the fourth quarter to carry the scoring load for Terrafirma, but the team fizzled out in the endgame.
Javi Gomez de Liaño backstopped Tiongson with 19 points and 8 rebounds, Alolino put up 16 points, while Go and Aldrech Ramos added 11 points apiece.
Absorbing their second straight loss, the Dyip dropped to 3-6.
NorthPort 104 – Tolentino 28, Zamar 21, Calma 18, Munzon 14, Santos 8, Ayaay 6, Salado 4, Yu 3, Gabriel 2, Balagasay 0, Sobrevega 0, Bauzon 0.
Terrafirma 100 – Tiongson 25, Gomez de Liaño 19, Alolino 16, Ramos 11, Go 11, Mina 9, Daquioag 4, Cahilig 3, Calvo 2, Grospe 0.
Quarters: 30-18, 52-43, 83-76, 104-100.