MANILA, Philippines – The NorthPort Batang Pier got off to a sizzling start in the PBA Philippine Cup as they crushed the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, 94-81, at the Ynares Center in Antipolo on Thursday, June 9.
Robert Bolick led the way for the Batang Pier with 22 points, 4 rebounds, and 6 assists, while Jamie Malonzo recorded a double-double of 18 markers and 15 boards in the victory.
With Rain or Shine only trailing by 5 points at the half, 35-40, Bolick and Malonzo combined for an 8-0 blast in the opening minutes of the third period to push NorthPort’s lead to 13, 48-35.
Still leading by double figures at the start of the final frame, 71-54, NorthPort even extended its lead to as many as 21 points, 77-56, off a triple by Kevin Ferrer.
The Elasto Painters showed signs of life with under three minutes left in the fourth period, cutting the Batang Pier’s lead back to just 10, 84-74, thanks to a three-pointer by Anton Asistio, but Bolick crushed any hopes of a Rain or Shine comeback as he quickly responded with an and-one play on the other end.
Ferrer also came up huge for NorthPort in the win, finishing with 15 points on a red-hot 4-of-5 shooting from deep, while Art dela Cruz contributed 10 points.
On the other side, Mike Nieto was the lone bright spot for Rain or Shine as he scored a team-high 19 points on an efficient 8-of-11 clip from the field, together with 4 rebounds and 4 assists.
Leonard Santillan added 16 points and 7 rebounds, while Asistio and Beau Belga tallied 14 and 10 markers, respectively, for the Elasto Painters, who dropped to 1-1 – tied with the TNT Tropang Giga.
NorthPort 94 – Bolick 22, Malonzo 18, Ferrer 15, Dela Cruz 10, Calma 9, Santos 8, Sumang 5, Balanza 4, Ayaay 3, Vigil 0, Apacible 0.
Rain or Shine 81 – Nieto 19, Santillan 16, Asistio 14, Belga 10, Nambatac 6, Demusis 6, Ildefonso 5, Ponferrada 5, Torres 0, Clarito 0, Borboran 0, Caracut 0, Tolentino 0.
Quarters: 20-11, 40-35, 71-54, 94-81.