A GLOBALPORT side without half of its vaunted backcourt duo still proved good enough to beat luckless Kia, hammering out a 102-90 victory to get its head above water in the PBA Governors’ Cup on Sunday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Missing Terrence Romeo to national duty, Stanley Pringle picked up the cudgels for the locals, while trade acquisition Mac Baracael also put up a solid showing among his fellow debutants as the Batang Pier shrugged off a long break to improve to an even 2-2 win-loss record.
Murphy Holloway anchored the Batang Pier’s attack with 29 points, 18 boards, three assists, and three blocks, and capped his all-around play with the slam off the inbound that punctuated the victory for the Batang Pier.
The Picanto came within six points inside the last minute, but failed to sustain their rally as they were left stuck in the bottom, still winless in seven games.
“The three-week layoff was hard. We were sluggish in a way that we were rushing things,” GlobalPort coach Franz Pumaren insisted. “And it’s so hard playing Kia. The way they’re playing is stress-free.
“And I’m still adjusting with my new players,” he added, referring to free-agent recruits Paolo Hubalde and Robby Celiz aside from Baracael.
Pringle registered 21 points, seven boards, and four assists in 37 minutes, while Baracael, acquired in a three-team trade with former team NLEX and Phoenix, added 13 points and four rebounds in nearly 25 minutes off the bench.
Markeith Cummings led the Picanto with 37 points, six boards, two assists, and one steal, but his one-man showed didn’t cut as it he again found little help from the locals outside Reden Celda, who added 15 points, two rebounds, and two steals in 24 minutes.
Celda also scored on a layup on the break off a steal that nudged the Picanto to within 90-96 with 54 seconds left, only for Holloway to retaliate with a slam after taking it the hoop following a timeout on the other end.
GLOBALPORT 102 – Holloway 29, Pringle 21, Baracael 13, Cortez 10, Anthony 8, Pennisi 6, Arana 6, Guinto 5, Hubalde 4, Celiz 0, Grey 0, Forrester 0
KIA 90 – Cummings 37, Celda 15, Elorde 9, Camson 9, Paniamogan 6, Revilla 6, Salva 4, Caperal 2, Jaime 2, Corpuz 0, Ballesteros 0, Khobuntin 0, Yee 0, Deutchman 0
Quarterscores: 28-21, 49-48, 74-69, 102-90