NORTHPORT put the clamps on high-scoring import Terrence Jones as the unbeaten Batang Pier defeated TNT, 110-86, on Wednesday in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Stanley Pringle was spectacular in his return from surgery to remove bone spurs in his right ankle, finishing with 22 points on 5-of-8 shooting from three-point land as NorthPort won its third straight game.
The Batang Pier's defense, on the other hand, limited Jones to 17 points - well below his 42-point average in his first two games for the KaTropa, both victories.
NorthPort turned a 63-59 deficit into a 77-65 lead at the end of the third quarter and the lead only swelled in the final canto as the Batang Pier never looked back.
“Wala akong masabi kasi we almost played a perfect game especially on defense,” said NorthPort coach Pido Jarencio. “Grabe ang depensa namin on Terrence Jones.
"Sean (Anthony), Mo (Tautuaa), nagpapalitan sila eh. Nirestrain nila ‘yung high-scoring import. Ang mindset namin is to play good defense," he added.
Rookie Robert Bolick scored 21 points while import Prince Ibeh had 18 points and 20 rebounds for the Batang Pier.
Troy Rosario topscored with 22 points while RR Pogoy added 19 points for the KaTropa.
NorthPort 110 – Pringle 22, Bolick 21, Ibeh 18, Anthony 13, Lanete 12, Tautuaa 11, Elorde 9, Grey 2, Gabayni 2, Flores 0, Taha 0.
TNT 86 – Rosario 22, Pogoy 19, Jones 17, Castro 10, Heruela 5, Trollano 4, Taha 4, A. Semerad 3, Reyes 2, Miranda 0, Golla 0, Williams 0, Casino 0.
Quarters: 25-28; 43-44; 77-65; 110-86.