NorthPort guns for its second win after its 94-81 win over Rain or Shine on Thursday at the Ynares Center.
One of the key figures in the win was Jamie Malonzo, who set out to grab as many rebounds as he can in the contest against Rain or Shine. Malonzo hauled down a team-high 15 as he fills the void with the team missing a couple of bigs.
“Just not having them, I got to step up and I got to be big for my team,” said Malonzo. “Robert told me in practice, you got to get 15 boards. That’s what I wanted to do and it happened.”
Malonzo’s effort was much-needed after NorthPort failed to come into terms with its big man Greg Slaughter. Troy Rike has also not returned for the Batang Pier, while other bigs in Jervy Cruz and Chris Javier have yet to play due to injuries.
Malonzo played the most minutes for NorthPort along with Robert Bolick with 39, and the sophomore said he was prepared for such scenario.
“Coach said I’m going to play a lot of minutes. We were missing a couple of bigs. Troy Rike and a couple of others. I want to go out there and fill some shoes tonight for my team, work hard as I could and do everything I could to get the win,” said Malonzo.
“I’m just going in there, trying to get tips, try to tip them out to other players, just working hard on the inside,” he said.
Terrafirma looks to bounce back after a 105-102 defeat over NLEX despite leading by as many as 16 points in the contest.
The Bolts mark their conference opener on Saturday, hoping to build on their 46th season campaign after reaching the semifinals in the Philippine Cup and the finals of the Governors’ Cup.
Meralco made little changes to its roster, with Kyle Pascual being the only significant addition.
The Fuel Masters go for their first win after their solid showing in their last game when they only lost by eight to mighty San Miguel, 108-100.
Rookies Tyler Tio and Encho Serrano were impressive in their opening games, combining for 33 points in the match.