NorthPort crushes Alaska, gives lifeline to Ginebra's quarterfinals hopes

Photo from PBA

NorthPort secured a quarterfinal duel with San Miguel Beer while giving defending champion Barangay Ginebra a lifeline after a 122-94 win over Alaska that put an end to the elimination round of the PBA Philippine Cup Thursday, Sept. 23 at the Don Honorio Ventura State University in Bacolor, Pampanga.

Robert Bolick registered the league’s first triple-double since November with 22 points, 13 rebounds and 13 assists as the Batang Pier rolled over the Aces to lock up the No. 5 seed and a best-of-three series with the fourth-ranked Beermen.

But the result was more beneficial for Ginebra, which gained the right to face Phoenix Super LPG in a playoff for the eighth and final quarterfinals berth on Saturday, Sept. 25.

Ginebra earlier in the day lost 79-66 to Meralco and was going to be eliminated had Alaska won.

The Batang Pier won five of their last seven games after a 1-3 start to secure a matchup with the Beermen in a rematch of their 2019 Commissioner’s Cup quarterfinal duel.

In that encounter, San Miguel overcame NorthPort’s twice-to-beat advantage to launch a deep run that ended with a championship.

“This is a good momentum for us, at least galing sa panalo,” said NorthPort coach Pido Jarencio. “And then, we’re gonna carry it in the playoffs against the mighty San Miguel Beer team. Alam naman natin na champion team yan.

“So we will just be there, magiging competitive kami and then, we’ll just prepare na maging ready kami sa playoffs,” Jarencio added.

Rookie Jamie Malonzo had 21 points, six rebounds and four assists, Paolo Taha scored 18 while Sidney Onwubere scored all of his 13 points in the first half.

Behind Onwubere’s scoring and Bolick’s all-around play, the Batang Pier gained a 61-43 halftime lead despite resting Greg Slaughter and Sean Anthony.

Bolick’s assist to Taha with five minutes left in the third gave him a triple-double, the first for the league since Nov. 3, 2020 when Calvin Abueva posted 10 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists while still with Phoenix in a 116-94 win over Terrafirma inside the PBA bubble in Angeles City, Pampanga.

Jeron Teng produced 18 points, six rebounds and three steals but Alaska finished its campaign with a 3-8 record.

The Aces lost their final four games, including a heartbreaking 101-100 loss to the Beermen the previous night that ended their hopes of a quarters spot.

The scores:

NORTHPORT 122 — Bolick 22, Malonzo 21, Taha 18, Onwubere 13, Rike 12, Ferrer 7, Doliguez 7, Balanza 6, Elorde 5,Subido 5, Grey 4,  Faundo 2, Lanete 0.

ALASKA 94 — Teng 18, Tratter 13, DiGregorio 13, Adamos 10, Casio 9, Banal 7, Browne 5, Brondial 5, Stockton 4, Marcelino 4, Ilagan 3, Ebona 3, Publico 0.

Quarters: 28-20, 61-43, 94-78, 122-94.