CHRISTIAN Standhardinger proved a thorn in the side of his former team as NorthPort endured the 56 points of Dez Wells to beat San Miguel, 127-119, on Wednesday in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Cuneta Astrodome.
Standhardinger scored one of the critical baskets in a 7-0 run that broke a 117-117 tie and sent the Beermen crashing in the Fil-German's first game since being traded to the Batang Pier for Mo Tautuaa last week.
Michael Qualls and Jervy Cruz also made big contributions as NorthPort improved to 3-4 while handing San Miguel just its second loss in seven outings.
Standhardinger finished with 18 points, five rebounds, seven assists, and two steals while battling foul trouble since he shadowed five-time MVP June Mar Fajardo for the most part of the game.
“Para sa mga players ito. They worked hard for this win. Timing ‘yung pagpalit namin ng import, Christian doing his share, and si Jervy pumutok, nagkaroon tuloy ng UST connection si Jervy at Kevin (Ferrer)," said NorthPort coach Pido Jarencio.
The win also came as some sort of redemption for NorthPort, which was eliminated by the Beermen in the quarterfinals of the Commissioner’s Cup despite being the second seed in the playoffs - a loss that still lingers for Jarencio.
“This is for the management and for the fans na last conference na-disappoint sa amin. Hindi tayo umabot. Same team na tumalo sa amin,” said Jarencio.
Wells scored eight consecutive points for the Beermen to tie the game at 117 with 2:26 left in the fourth, but the Batang Pier quickly responded.
Qualls scored a tough lay-up over Wells while free throws by Nico Elorde and Cruz converting hiked the lead. Standhardinger then hit the dagger jumper that made it 124-117 with 1:01 remaining.
Qualls finished with 40 points and 18 rebounds while Cruz had a double-double of 21 points and 10 rebounds for NorthPort, which also got 17 points from Ferrer.
Fajardo had 22 points and 14 rebounds, but the Beermen were unable to dig themselves out of a 71-57 hole in the third period.
NorthPort 127 – Qualls 40, Cruz 21, Standhardinger 18, Ferrer 17, Escoto 10, Bolick 9, Elorde 8, Taha 2, Lanete 2.
San Miguel 119 – Wells 56, Fajardo 22, Santos 13, Romeo 12, Pessumal 6, Cabagnot 6, Nabong 2, Tautuaa 2, Ross 0, Lassiter 0, Ganuelas-Rosser 0.
Quarters: 36-29; 64-57; 94-91; 127-119.