SEAN Anthony scored the game-winning lay-up with 12.4 seconds left in the third overtime as NorthPort completed its upset over top-seed NLEX, 126-123, on Wednesday to advance to the semifinals of the PBA Governors’ Cup.
Anthony finished with 30 points and 11 rebounds in an exhausting game at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum that ended with the Batang Pier becoming only the fourth eighth-seed team to beat a top seed in a PBA quarterfinal playoff.
For Anthony, it was not the first time he was part of an overachieving eighth seed. The Fil-Canadian forward was also a member of the 2012 Powerade team that knocked off the Tim Cone-coached BMeg team in the Philippine Cup playoffs.
Christian Standhardinger added 33 points and 23 rebounds while Michael Qualls finished with 31 points and 21 rebounds for the Batang Pier, which won all five of their games this season against the Road Warriors.
NorthPort coach Pido Jarencio was mighty proud of his team, which was given up for dead in the season-ending conference until it won four straight games to make it to the semifinals, three at the expense of NLEX.
“Ang bigat ah. Four knockout games. NLEX, Ginebra, then dalawang NLEX," said Jarencio. "The desire, the hunger, the composure, the commitment, nandoon. They really want to win. Blessing sila.”
Anthony and Standhardinger opened the scoring for the Batang Pier in the third overtime for a 120-116 lead. NLEX answered with a Kiefer Ravena layup, but Anthony's left-handed layup turned out to be the go-ahead basket.
Jericho Cruz missed an open three, and Standhardinger hit two free throws for a three-point game. Ravena failed to make a three in the final possession of the match.
It was a sorry defeat for twice-to-beat NLEX, which lost the first game by a wide margin, 115-90, and blew a 16-point lead in the next.
In all, the top-seeded Road Warriors hit a dead end after losing four straight games.
The Road Warriors were still leading by 10, 90-80, midway through the fourth, until Anthony led NorthPort back with a 6-0 run.
NLEX extended the game into a second extra period after Cruz made two free throws, 108-108, and forced a third overtime after Philip Paniamogan hit a three with 4.6 seconds left to tie the count at 116.
Manny Harris scored 43 points to atone for his 12-point effort in the first game of the quarterfinal. Ravena added 22 points.
NorthPort 126 – Standhardinger 33, Qualls 31, Anthony 30, Elorde 12, Taha 7, Ferrer 6, Lanete 4, Mercardo 3, Cruz 0, King 0.
NLEX 123 – Harris 43, Ravena 22, Quinahan 13, Ighalo 12, Soyud 9, Paniamogan 8, Cruz 6, Taulava 6, Miranda 2, Fonacier 2, Alas 0.
Quarters: 24-27; 43-56; 70-74; 99-99; 108-108; 116-116; 126-123.