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    NorthPort sustains late playoff push, leaves Alaska on brink of early exit

    Mar 27, 2019
    PHOTO: Jerome Ascano

    NORTHPORT sustained its last-ditch bid for a quarterfinal spot on Wednesday night by defeating Alaska, 94-84, in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

    The Batang Pier averted a fourth-quarter collapse to win for the second straight game after a six-game losing streak that nearly knocked them out of the playoff picture.

    Instead, NorthPort, now at 4-6 (win-loss), can clinch a place in the Final Eight with a win over Ginebra next Wednesday.

    On the other hand, Alaska ended the eliminations at ninth place with a 4-7 card, their playoff hopes no longer in their hands.

    Sean Anthony finished with a double-double of 24 points and 17 rebounds while Stanley Pringle added 21 points for the Batang Pier, who are assured of at least a playoff for the eighth and final spot in the quarterfinals.

    NorthPort's win also knocked Columbian and Meralco out of the quarterfinal race.

    The Batang Pier were up, 71-57, when the Aces scored 17 straight points to cut the deficit to three points, bringing back memories of past NorthPort collapses.

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    This time, however, the Batang Pier responded with a 19-4 blast led by Anthony and Pringle to put the game away.

    “Talagang ‘yung mga players, they want this win. Para sa kanila, they want to make a name for themselves na do-or-die game, tapos nananalo,” said Jarencio.

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    Carl Bryan Cruz had 23 points for the Aces, whose playoff fate will not depend on the result of next Wednesday’s match between Magnolia and NLEX.

    The scores:

    NorthPort 94 – Anthony 24, Pringle 21, Tautuaa 14, Grey 13, Taha 6, Flores 6, Bolick 3, Guinto 3, Elorde 2, Sollano 2, Lanete 0.

    Alaska 84 – Cruz 23, Thoss 14, Enciso 11, Banchero 8, Pascual 8, Ayaay 6, Casio 5, Baclao 3, Teng 2, Galliguez 2, Racal 2, Exciminiano 0.

    Quarters: 16-19; 40-37; 71-60; 94-84.

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    PHOTO: Jerome Ascano
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