FOR NorthPort, there is life after Stanley Pringle.
Getting a big lift from their three new acquisitions, the Batang Pier scored a 127-99 victory over an import-less Blackwater Elite to regain a share of the lead in the PBA Commissioner's Cup Saturday at the Astrodome.
The Batang Pier hardly showed the effects of losing top gun Stanley Pringle in a blockbuster trade with Barangay Ginebra as Kevin Ferrer, Sol Mercado and Jervy Cruz stepped in to fill the void left by the shifty Fil-Am guard.
NorthPort improved to 7-1 for a share of the lead with idle TnT Katropa and clinched a playoff berth for the second time this season.
The Elite played without an import for the second straight game and lost back-to-back for the first time this conference to drop at 5-3.
Jameel McKay, the replacement for ailing import Alex Stepheson, arrived in the country on Friday but didn't suit and instead, watched the game on the bench.
"Alam ko lahat ng kinuha namin makakatulong sa amin," said coach Pido Jarencio following the win.
The Elite were only in the game during the first quarter, but offered little resistance when the Batang Pier stepped on the gas in the second period, outscoring them, 39-25, for a 15-point spread at the half.
Sean Anthony instigated that first half breakaway, scoring eight of his 22 points in that stretch. He added 11 rebounds and four assists.
Ferrer led NorthPort with 23 points on 5-of-11 shooting from three-point range, rookie Robert Bolick with 16, and Cruz also with 16 along with 11 rebounds.
Mercado added 14 points, five rebounds, and five assists.
The Batang Pier led by as many as 119-83 despite playing with just a 10-man rotation.
Rookie Bobby Ray Parks had 25 points to go with 11 rebounds in leading Blackwater, which played without an import for the second straight game.
NorthPort (127) - Ferrer 23, Anthony 22, Bolick 16, Cruz 16, Mercado 14, Taha 10, Ibeh 10, Tautuaa 8, Lanete 8, Gabayni 0.
Blackwater (99) - Parks 25, Al-Hussaini 16, Digregorio10, Maliksi 10, Belo 10, Trater 6, Alolino 5, Sumang 5, Desiderio 5, Javier 4, Salem 3, Cortez 0, Sena 0, Javier 0.
Quarterscores: 29-21; 54-39; 86-65; 127-99.