GLOBALPORT’S prolific duo of Stanley Pringle and Terrence Romeo are not on a holiday mode even on Christmas Day.
The deadly backcourt tandem combined for 48 points - including 33 by Romeo - and sparked a huge second half run to slam the door on Barako Bull, 94-85, and advance to the Smart Bro-PBA Philippine Cup semifinals on Friday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
In clinching their first ever playoffs win in franchise history, the Batang Pier arranged a knockout game against the winner of the other quarterfinal showdown between Barangay Ginebra and Star for a berth in the semifinals.
Coach Pido Jarencio didn’t mince any words about the team’s goal of reaching the semis for the first time ever.
“Gusto talaga nila (Batang Pier) pumasok sa semis,” said Jarencio in the customary post-game interview. “Hihintayin na lang namin kung sin manalo sa Ginebra and Star. Bakbakan sila dun.”
None among the Batang Pier typified their desire to make it to the next round than the hot-scoring Romeo, who torched the Energy for 28 points in the second half when the team finally got its game going after trailing for most of the first two quarters.
The gunner out of Far Eastern University tallied 14 in the third period when he instigated a 13-1 Globalport run that turned the game around in its favor.
The scoring run reversed a 41-48 deficit into a 54-49 lead for the Batang Pier.
“Talagang nag step-up yung mga players especially Terrence,” said Jarencio. “Nag struggle kami nung first half. Medyo slow, walang energy.
“Masyado kaming going through the motions. Sumasabay kami sa laro nila. Hindi yun ang Globalport team. Up-tempo kami e.
With Romeo leading the way, the fifth-seeded Batang Pier, who enjoyed a twice-to-beat edge over the no. 8 Energy, were able to recover their bearings to take a 69-64 lead entering the final quarter.
Barako Bull kept the game close midway into the pivotal fourth until Romeo caught fire in the homestretch.
The Gilas Pilipinas mainstay converted on two three-points in a two-minute span, the last of which gave Globalport a 90-78 advantage with 2:08 remaining.
Pringle was the only other player to finish in double figures for the Batang Pier with 15 and added 13 rebounds for good measure.
Willy Wilson again came through with a double-double of 15 points and 15 rebounds to show the way for Barako Bull.
Globalport (94) - Romeo 33, Pringle 15, Washington 9, Mamaril 8, Jensen 7, Sumang 6, Yeo 6, Kramer 4, Maierhofer 4, Semerad 2, Hayes 0, Isip 0, Uyloan 0.
Barako Bull (85) - Wilson 15, Monfort 12, Urbiztondo 12, Intal 11, Pennisi 9, Baracael 8, Brondial 8, Fortuna 4, Lanete 4, Sorongon 2, Caperal 0.
Quarterscores: 21-25, 41-48, 69-64, 94-85