GLOBALPORT endured the ejection of import Malcolm White and pulled off a gutsy 98-94 victory over San Miguel to halt a two-game losing skid on Wednesday in the 2018 PBA Commissioner’s Cup at Mall of Asia Arena.
The Batang Pier capitalized on the Beermen’s endgame miscues and found an unlikely hero in Nico Elorde, who got free in the left wing for the go-ahead three-pointer, 95-92 with 48.1 seconds left.
Stanley Pringle forced a turnover off of an inbounds pass by Arwind Santos in the ensuing possession, which led to Mo Tautuaa’s dagger lay-up with 37.3 ticks left.
True to its form for the night, San Miguel again saw Renaldo Balkman lose handle on the ball on a drive, setting the stage for Elorde delivering the coup de grace with a split from the charity stripe.
White finished with 25 points, 10 rebounds, and two blocks before exiting the game at the final 8:09 mark after incurring two technical fouls.
But for coach Pido Jarencio, his reinforcement’s untimely exit turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
“Motivation sa amin yung pagkawala ni Malcolm White. Positive talaga for the team na nawala yung import tapos nagbigay ng energy yung ibang players,” he said.
Pringle also unloaded 22 points, eight assists, six boards, and three steals, as Sean Anthony was his usual hardworking self and logged 11 points, nine rebounds, and five assists.
By halting its skid, GlobalPort revived its chances of making it to the next round with an even 4-4 card.
“This is a big win for us, especially going into the playoffs,” said Jarencio after the Batang Pier beat the powerhouse Beermen for the first time in two seasons. “Pag natalo kami, bababa kami. At least, we have a big chance to be in the final eight.”
San Miguel saw its three-game winning run stopped as it fell to 3-4 in the conference.
Balkman topped the Beermen with 33 points, 13 rebounds, six assists, four steals, and four blocks against seven turnovers. June Mar Fajardo also got 20 points and eight boards in the loss.
GLOBALPORT 98 — White 25, Pringle 22, Guinto 9, Tautuaa 8, Grey 7, Elorde 6, Nabong 3, Teng 3, Javelona 2, Sargent 2.
SAN MIGUEL 94 — Balkman 33, Fajardo 20, Cabagnot 19, Santos 10, Lassiter 6, Ross 6, Ganuelas-Rosser 0, Heruela 0, Mamaril 0, Pessumal 0, Standhardinger 0.
Quarters: 23-27, 47-51, 71-79, 98-94.