GLOBALPORT overcame a handful of adversities on and off the court as it outlasted NLEX, 85-82, to barge into the win column of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Wednesday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Stunned by the sudden passing of assistant coach Cenen Dueñas Wednesday morning, the Batang Pier also entered the court without ailing coach Franz Pumaren before bucking the absence of Terrence Romeo down the stretch to finally break a four-game losing streak.
Malcom White scored the turnaround jumper that put the Batang Pier up for good and added to the misery of the Road Warriors, who suffered a sixth straight setback.
“This is very emotional for our team. They really worked hard for this. Two days ago, we saw in their eyes, they’re pushing each other, and then may mga nangyari,” assistant coach Eric Gonzales said in the post-game conference as he called the shots in lieu of Pumaren, who called in sick.
“Best effort sila,” he added. Talagang gusto ko ibalik si Terrence, pero pinulikat.”
The Batang Pier overhauled an early 10-point deficit, before building their own 10-point lead that almost disappeared after the Road Warriors made a late comeback.
Wayne Chism knocked down a triple from the right wing that knotted the count at 80, but that set the stage for White’s jumper over the Road Warriors reinforcement on the other end that gave the Batang Pier the lead for good.
White registered 23 points, 16 boards, six blocks, and two assists in 39 minutes, while Stanley Pringle added 15 points, five rebounds, and four assists.
Chism led the Road Warriors with a game-high 29 points along with 14 caroms, two assists, and two steals, but missed a stab that could’ve tied the game again, and a three-pointer that could’ve given them the lead in the dying seconds.
GLOBALPORT 85 – White 23, Pringle 15, Romeo 12, Ababou 8, Cortez 8, Pessumal 8, Quinahan 5, Mamaril 4, Maierhofer 2, Forrester 0, Paredes 0, Aban 0, Pennisi 0
NLEX 82 – Chism 29, Soyud 12, Rios 7, Monfort 6, J. Villanueva 5, Tiongson 5, Guinto 4, Al-Hussaini 3, Taulava 3, Anthony 3, Khobuntin 2, Baracael 2, Alas 1, Lastimosa 0, Lanete 0
Quarterscores: 21-25, 49-46, 71-64, 85-82