AN audacious NorthPort side overcame a 25-point deficit to beat Rain or Shine, 107-105, in overtime on Wednesday night in its first PBA Commissioner’s Cup game since trading star guard Stanley Pringle.
Mo Tautuaa and Robert Bolick led a six-point swing late in regulation to send the game into an extra period then took over again in overtime to seal a thrilling come-from-behind by a team that played just eight men.
NorthPort’s third straight win came a day after the Batang Pier sent Pringle to Barangay Ginebra for Sol Mercado, Kevin Ferrer, and Jervy Cruz, who all didn’t play.
That plus the departure of Pringle and injuries to Jonathan Grey and Nico Elorde didn't stop the Batang Pier from posting their sixth win in seven games - good for a share of the lead with TNT KaTropa.
Tautuaa finished with a career-high 34 points while Bolick had 22 points including a triple over Rain or Shine import Denzel Bowles with 11.2 seconds left in regulation that tied the score at 100.
“Almost seven lang ‘yung naglaro, kahit papaano, iba ‘yung puso ng mga bata. Puso, pride, palaban, ‘yun ‘yun eh,” said a jubilant NorthPort coach Pido Jarencio.
NorthPort fel behind by 25 points, 84-59, and entered the fourth quarter down 21 when they launched the comeback. The Batang Pier were still down, 100-94, when Tautuaa hit a triple with 26.3 seconds left in regulation.
After Bowles missed two free throws, NorthPort finally tied the game on the contested trey by Bolick.
Tautuaa tied the game in overtime at 102, before Bolick scored on a layup with 1:42 leftto give NorthPort its first taste of the lead in the game. Tautuaa padded the lead to five with another triple, 107-102.
The Batang Pier also survived four missed free throws by their import Prince Ibeh in the dying seconds as Bowles missed a desperate three to end the game.
Bowles had 41 points and 21 reboundsas Rain or Shine slipped to 2-3, ending a two-game winning streak.
NorthPort 107 – Tautuaa 34, Bolick 22, Lanete 16, Anthony 14, Taha 12, Ibeh 9, Arana 0, Gabayni 0.
Rain or Shine 105 – Bowles 41, Mocon 16, Daquioag 12, Nambatac 11, Rosales 10, Belga 5, Norwood 4, Ponferada 2, Torres 2, Borboran 2, Alejandro 0.
Quarters: 17-25; 40-49; 63-84; 100-100; 107-105.