NORTHPORT goes for a 2-0 lead in its best-of-five semifinal series against Barangay Ginebra on Monday night in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
The Batang Pier are looking to also extend their franchise-best five-game winning streak in their 7 p.m. match-up against the Gin Kings.
NorthPort is eyeing to put Ginebra on the ropes following a 124-90 win in Game One to continue its splendid performance which already saw the Batang Pier beating twice-to-beat top-seed NLEX in the quarterfinals.
But NorthPort coach Pido Jarencio played down the victory, saying the Batang Pier only caught their opponents on an off day especially after most of the Gin Kings, including the coaching staff led by Tim Cone were just coming off a stint with Gilas Pilipinas in the Southeast Asian Games.
“Kahit papano, may Game Four na. Aabot ng kami ng Game Four,” said Jarencio, noting that NorthPort remains the heavy underdog in the series.
Michael Qualls had a big game for NorthPort in the series opener, scoring 38 points including 27 in the first half in a match where the Batang Pier led by as many as 37 points.
Garvo Lanete was also lights out from threes, hitting six to end up wit 24 points for the Batang Pier.
Cone described the beatdown as “ugly” and “embarrassing” and the Gin Kings look to tie the series up at one game apiece.
“They beat us in all facets of the game, so we’ve got to come back better the next time,” Cone said.
Justin Brownlee and Stanley Pringle had 24 and 21 respectively, but it was not enough with Ginebra expecting to make major adjustments on defense in order to avoid being on the brink of elimination.