PBA: NorthPort holds off NLEX for 3rd straight win

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Photo courtesy: PBA Images

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 12) – The NorthPort Batang Pier clinched its third straight win at the expense of the NLEX Road Warriors, 96-94, in the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup on Sunday at the DHVSU Gym in Bacolor, Pampanga.

Flashy guard Robert Bolick had a sensational shooting night with 26 points, converting 10 of his 18 shots to lift his team to a 4-3 record.

Rookie Jamie Malonzo complemented Bolick with a double-double effort of 13 points and 13 rebounds as NorthPort swept its grueling three-game outing in four days.

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"We did our best. We want to win for our coaches, friends, and loved ones," said Bolick in the post-game press conference, who specially dedicated their win to head coach Pido Jarencio and the rest of the NorthPort coaching staff recovering from COVID-19.

The Batang Pier averted a collapse late in the fourth quarter after the Road Warriors staged a 16-2 run to reduce a 15-point deficit down to four points, 95-91, with 53 seconds left in the match.

NLEX had its chances to at least tie the game but the three-point attempts of Don Trollano and Kevin Alas, and the inside tries of Anthony Semerad and rookie Calvin Oftana kept missing the basket.

Paolo Taha sealed the win by sinking one of his two free throws off a Trollano foul with 16 seconds remaining in the game.

NLEX team captain Alas drained a three-point shot in the final second, but it was not enough to steal the contest from NorthPort.

Trollano topscored for NLEX with 19 points as the Road Warriors dropped to a 4-5 slate.

The Scores:

NORTHPORT 96 – Bolick 26, Taha 14, Anthony 14, Malonzo 13, Onwubere 9, Ferrer 8, Lanete 5, Grey 5, Elorde 2, Balanza 0, Rike 0

NLEX 94 – Trollano 19, Alas 13, Cruz 10, Semerad 10, Porter 10, Oftana 8, Miranda 7, Semerad 5, Paniamogan 5, Soyud 4, Ighalo 3, McAloney 3, Ayonayon 2

Quarterscores: 29-26, 48-45, 73-65, 96-94