GLOBALPORT endured the absence of the suspended Mo Tautuaa to frustrate Meralco, 86-85, and barge into the win column of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Friday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Stanley Pringle took over when called upon, firing 13 of his 17 points in the payoff period where the Batang Pier held off a late rally by the Bolts to atone for an opening day loss to TNT KaTropa.
The Batang Pier, who were down a big man after Tautuaa was suspended for a flagrant foul on TNT import Jeremy Tyler, handed the Bolts their first loss after their opponents opened with a win last Wednesday.
“A win is a win, we’ll take it,” GlobalPort coach Pido Jarencio said. “I commend the last group.”
Malcolm White anchored the attack with 25 points, 17 boards, two blocks, and one assist in 43 minutes, while Sean Anthony also delivered with 17 points, seven rebounds, and two assists that made up for six turnovers.
But it was Pringle who carried the offensive load in the fourth quarter, scoring a layup that gave the Batang Pier a 77-69 lead halfway through the period.
That cushion was enough to withstand a late run by the Bolts led by Nino Canelta, who fired a game-high 28 points, including seven triples, before Chris Newsome scored on a floater that pulled Meralco to within one, 82-83.
Pringle scored the Batang Pier’s last three points – all from the foul line – to negate an inconsequential triple by Newsome at the buzzer.
Canaleta drew support from Arinze Onuaku who chipped in 21 points, 14 caroms, three assists, two steals, and one block, but little from the rest of the locals.
GLOBALPORT 86 — White 27, Pringle 17, Anthony 15, Araña 7, Nabong 6, Grey 5, Teng 3, Elorde 2, Gabayni 2, Viernes 2, Guinto 0, Sargent 0
MERALCO 85 — Cañaleta 28, Onuaku 21, Caram 9, Newsome 9, Amer 8, Hodge 6, Hugnatan 2, Salva 2, Dillinger 0, Sedurifa 0
Quarterscores: 23-25, 45-44, 63-65, 86-85