GLOBALPORT continued to show how to take care of a huge lead as it frustrated NLEX, 110-96, on Friday to build momentum heading into a crucial stretch in the PBA Philippine Cup.
Coming off a 97-89 win over Meralco that atoned for a monumental meltdown against Phoenix late last month, the Batang Pier established another sizeable lead and weathered a late rally, this time by the Road Warriors to coast to the win, their fifth in eight games.
Terrence Romeo sustained his offensive brilliance with 32 points on 12-of-23 shooting, five boards, and four assists, while Stanley Pringle added 20 points, seven assists, and five rebounds to lead the Batang Pier, who occupied solo third spot.
JR Quinahan also shone against former coach Yeng Guiao as he registered 18 points and seven boards off the bench where Papot Paredes also contributed significantly with 13 and 6 caroms as the Batang Pier dealt the Road Warriors their sixth loss in eight games to drop to the bottom.
“Slowly, they’re maturing. Sometimes, I admit I give them a free rein, but the last two games, I make sure that I’m on top everything,” GlobalPort coach Franz Pumaren said. “One thing I really appreciate with my team is the bench guys are doing their role.”
“The coming games are going to be very difficult, so this (win) is a buffer for us,” he added ahead of a schedule that will see them take on San Miguel Beer and Rain or Shine next.
The Batang Pier quickly turned the game around after the Road Warriors scored the game’s first five points, going up by five points at the end of first quarter, before extending the lead to 12 points at the half.
GlobalPort maintained the double-digit cushion that ballooned to 21 points, 82-61, late in the third quarter, before seeing the Road Warriors make a run in the payoff period, trimming the lead to just eight, 94-86, after a Kevin Alas triple – a comeback bid the Batang Pier shrugged off.
Carlo Lastimosa paced NLEX with 19 points, six assists, and five boards, while Alas and Sean Anthony added 16 points apiece in a losing effort.
GLOBALPORT 110 – Romeo 32, Pringle 20, Quinahan 18, Paredes 13, Pessumal 10, Canaleta 6, Cortez 4, Aban 4, Urbiztondo 3, Saitanan 0, Maierhofer 0, Mamaril 0
NLEX 96 – Lastimosa 19, Alas 16, Anthony 16, Guinto 13, Camson 9, Lanete 9, Soyud 5, E. Villanueva 4, Baracael 2, Monfort 2, Rios 1, J. Villanueva 0, Taulava 0, Gotladera 0, Khobuntin 0
Quarterscores: 21-16, 50-38, 82-65, 110-96