GLOBALPORT turned to former Meralco players in cruising past the Bolts, 107-88, to get back on the winning track in the PBA Philippine Cup on Sunday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Kelly Nabong and Jonathan Grey haunted their former team as the Batang Pier zoomed to an early lead and kept the foot on the gas pedal to coast to their third win in four games to move back to .500 at 3-3.
Nabong, who had an argument with Meralco assistant coach Jimmy Alapag that led to his suspension and eventual departure from the Bolts, registered 17 points, 17 boards, and three blocks, while Grey, a Meralco draft pick, added 24 points in 22 minutes off the bench.
With the duo leading the way, the Batang Pier continued to find ways without injured superstar Terrence Romeo as they handed the Bolts their fourth loss in six games.
“We finished stronger talaga,” Globalport coach Pido Jarencio said. “Yung defense namin talagang nag-work."
That Batang Pier’s balanced effort took some load off Stanely Pringle, who has been carrying most of the load without his backcourt partner Romero, but still came up with 17 points built around five treys, five boards, and four assists in 34 minutes.
Sean Anthony sustained his solid play with 18 points, five rebounds, and three assists in 33 minutes, scoring on a jumper that gave the Batang Pier their biggest lead at 29, 94-65, with a little over seven minutes left in the game.
Chris Newsome and Reynel Hugnatan led the Bolts with 17 points apiece, but the former scored 11 points in the fourth quarter where the game was all but decided.
Baser Amer, Jared Dillinger, and Nino Canaleta also failed to deliver for the Bolts, combining for just 10 points on an unacceptable 5-of-30 shooting from the field.
GLOBALPORT 107 — Grey 24, Anthony 18, Nabong 17, Pringle 17, Gabayni 9, Araña 5, Guinto 5, Juico 4, Sargent 4, Elorde 2, Taha 2, Flores 0
MERALCO 88 — Hugnatan 17, Newsome 17, Tolomia 15, Baracael 12, Hodge 7, Bono 5, Caram 5, Amer 4, Cañaleta 4, Dillinger 2, Ballesteros 0, Faundo 0, Lanete 0, Salva 0
Quarterscores: 29-16, 48-37, 82-60, 107-88