GlobalPort 85 – NLEX 82
It was a sad day for a win.
Before their game against the NLEX Road Warriors, GlobalPort Batang Pier Assistant Coach Senen Duenas passed away. The Batang Pier dedicated their first win in the Commissioner’s Cup to him.
They were able to gut out a tough victory against an equally desperate Road Warriors team. The game was a back-and-forth affair from the get-go.
NLEX continued to trot out unorthodox line-up combinations. Partially because it’s part of Coach Yeng Guiao’s mad science methods, and in part because they are still trying to find a lineup that works.
Midway through the first quarter, it looked like NLEX had found a hardworking group they could build on. Jansen Rios, Emman Monfort and Raul Soyud, all journeymen in the PBA, teamed up to go on an 11-2 run to give the Road Warriors a double-digit lead, 23-13. Rios and Monfort hit a trey each, while Soyud was banging bodies inside for points in the paint.
Unfortunately, the Road Warriors couldn’t protect the lead that their starting trio built. Malcolm White, Stanley Pringle and Terrence Romeo led a comeback in the second quarter to retake the lead.
White was a handful inside as he used his strength and length to launch shots over his defenders. Pringle was a dynamo. He was slashing into the lane, finishing with acrobatic layups or whipping out passes to waiting shooters. Romeo wasn’t dominating the ball. Instead, he was picking his spots on the floor and converting on short pull-up jumpers and off kick-out passes.
The Batang Pier continued their offensive attack in the third quarter. Mike Cortex got into the act and found his groove offensively. He helped White and Pringle build their own double-digit lead in the third quarter, 70-60.
Wayne Chism refused to let the Batang Pier run away with the win. He took over the Road Warriors offense and started playing bully ball. He was aggressive in taking the ball to the hoop and getting fouled in the process. He scored five of his 10 points in the quarter from the charity stripe. His final points in the game came via a game-tying three-pointer from the left wing with less than 40 seconds left in the game.
With the game on the line, the Batang Pier opted to go to their big man in the paint. They got the ball to White and spread the floor out with options for kick-outs in almost every angle. White didn’t need it as he hit a fall-away jumper over Chism to give his team the lead. NLEX couldn’t convert on their end game attempts and GlobalPort sealed the win from the line.
White finished with 23 points and 16 rebounds while Pringle had 15 points, five rebounds and four assists. Chism led NLEX wth 29 points.
It may have been a sad day for a win but it was a win nonetheless. With the monkeys off their backs, the Batang Pier can now focus on turning their conference around and make a run at a quarterfinals slot.