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MANILA, Philippines – Arvin Tolentino torched the nets in his NorthPort return, showing the way in a 112-95 whipping of Blackwater in the PBA On Tour at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig on Friday, June 9.
Playing his first game in the exhibition tiff after helping Gilas Pilipinas reclaim the gold in the Southeast Asian Games, Tolentino fired 22 points on a 4-of-10 clip from deep as the Batang Pier won their second straight match.
Joshua Munzon backstopped Tolentino with 19 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists, while Paul Zamar delivered 17 points in the wire-to-wire victory that saw NorthPort end the opening period with a sizable 32-19 lead.
Zamar set the tone in the romp with 8 big points in the first frame before Tolentino – who had only 4 points by halftime – hit four three-pointers in the second half to give the Batang Pier their biggest lead at 96-70.
Tolentino also finished with 5 rebounds, 2 blocks, and 2 steals off the bench.
“I’m happy that I’m back here at NorthPort and playing again in the PBA. I’ve been itching to play since we got home but coach and the management wanted me to rest,” said Tolentino in Filipino.
JM Calma made his presence felt as well for the Batang Pier with 16 points and 2 steals, while Paolo Taha added 11 points.
NorthPort, which is undergoing an adjustment period following the departure of star guard Robert Bolick to the Japan B. League, improved to 2-2.
Troy Rosario supplied 17 points and 6 rebounds for the Bossing, who fell to a 2-2 record.
RK Ilagan tallied 15 points in the losing effort, Tyrus Hill chimed in 12 points and 7 rebounds, while Baser Amer and Rashawn McCarthy had 11 points each.
NorthPort 112 – Tolentino 22, Munzon 19, Zamar 17, Calma 16, Taha 11, Ayaay 7, Salado 7, Bauzon 7, Santos 4, Bulawan 2, Balagasay 0, Comboy 0, Olivario 0, Sobrevega 0.
Blackwater 95 – Rosari 17, Ilagan 15, Hill 12, Amer 11, McCarthy 11, Suerte 7, Banal 6, Sena 5, Publico 4, Ayonayon 3, Taha 3, Escoto 1, Ular 0.
Quarters: 32-19, 51-37, 85-69, 112-95.