GLOBALPORT gave Kia false hopes of pulling off a stunning reversal before rolling to a 108-91 victory to boost its playoff bid in the PBA Philippine Cup on Wednesday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
The Batang Pier gave up a 16-point lead, but regained their bearings down the stretch to coast to their fifth win in 10 games.
Stanley Pringle steadied the ship by knocking down back-to-back triples after the Picanto briefly took the lead at 85-84 as the Batang Pier ended the game on a 24-6 run to climb to joint sixth spot with Ginebra.
The Batang Pier also added to the misery of the Batang Pier who suffered their ninth loss in 10 games.
"May ganun eh - momentum, pero bumalik rin naman sa amin," Globalport coach Pido Jarencio said, referring to Kia's fourth-quarter comeback.
"It was a total team effort," he added. "Gusto talaga nila pumasok sa playoffs."
Kelly Nabong typified the Batang Pier's desire to return to the postseason after missing out in the Governors' Cup, scoring 10 of his 21 points in the first quarter. He added 13 boards and five blocks in less than 30 minutes in another solid showing.
Sean Anthony also fired 21 points, on top of eight rebounds, four steals, and two assists in 27 minutes, while Pringle finished with 15 points, including nine in the final frame, eight rebounds, five assists, and two steals.
Reden Celda led Kia's comeback that had no finishing kick, pumping in eight of his team-high 20 points in the payoff period, including a three-point play that gave them that one-point lead before letting the Batang Piero build another double-digit lead.
GLOBALPORT 108 - Nabong 21, Anthony 21, Pringle 15, Sargent 12, Teng 7, Grey 6, Flores 6, Gabayni 6, Guinto 6, Juico 4, Elorde 2, Arana 2, Taha 0
KIA 91 - Celda 20, Gabriel 17, McCarthy 14, Camson 12, Jamon 9, Corpuz 5, Tubid 5, Sara 4, Cabrera 2, Yee 0, Lastimosa 0, Galanza 0, Escoto 0, Khobuntin 0, Ababou 0
Quarterscores: 23-26, 51-40, 78-67, 108-91