GLOBALPORT rode Terrence Romeo’s offensive brilliance then put up a resolute defensive stand in the end as it hacked out a 91-84 victory over Barangay Ginebra to get back on track in the PBA Philippine Cup on Sunday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Romeo poured in an early season-high of 35 points, including 15 in the payoff period where the Batang Pier held off the Gin Kings at the height of their expected comeback from 18 points down to emerge victorious.
The Batang Pier thus atoned for their 95-84 loss to Alaska last Wednesday in a game where they collapsed halfway through the fourth, as they registered their third win in four games.
GlobalPort, which gained a share of the lead with Rain or Shine, dealt the Gin Kings their second loss in three games.
“My team is slowly maturing,” Batang Pier coach Franz Pumaren said. “As you all know, we crumbled against Alaska, so what a way to bounce back.”
“We didn’t panic and we stuck to the system and survived the onslaught of Ginebra,” he added.
After erecting their biggest lead at 44-26 following a Stanley Pringle jumper late in the second quarter, the Batang Pier saw the Gin Kings rally in the second half, pulling to within three points entering the final frame.
Sol Mercado knocked down a right-wing triple that nudged Ginebra closer at two points, 87-82, before Mike Cortez, inserted to provide a veteran presence down the stretch, delivered with a crucial offensive rebound and two charities that kept the Gin Kings at bay.
Romeo sealed the deal after converting a tough layup off a broken play with 45.3 seconds left, spoiling the solid showing of Ginebra tandem LA Tenorio and Japeth Aguilar, who tallied 23 points apiece.
GLOBALPORT 91 – Romeo 35, Quinahan 15, Pringle 12, Canaleta 10, Mamaril 6, Cortez 6, Urbiztondo 3, Pennisi 2, Maierhofer 2, Semerad 0, Pessumal 0
GINEBRA 84 – Aguilar 23, Tenorio 23, Devance 9, Mariano 8, Cruz 6, Mercado 5, Thompson 4, Caguioa 2, Ellis 2, Taha 2, Ferrer 0, Helterbrand 0
Quarterscores: 23-22, 53-36, 68-65, 91-84