San Agustin Gym, Iloilo
5 p.m. – San Miguel Beer vs TNT KaTropa
STANLEY Pringle anchored a strong finishing kick by GlobalPort on Friday night as the Batang Pier broke through in the PBA Philippine Cup with a 78-70 decision of Rain or Shine at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay.
The leading scorer in the tournament, the 6-foot dynamo fired 29 points and helped GlobalPort lead practically the entire night as the Batang Pier bounced back from a horrendous foldup the last time up to rise to 1-2 (win-loss).
“We finished stronger this time,” a smiling GlobalPort coach, Pido Jarencio said. “Unlike in the last game where we played well for 45 minutes. The players really wanted to win this game and everyone helped out.”
Jarencio was referring to a botched win against Barangay Ginebra last Sunday when they controlled the game more than 90 percent of the way only to lose steam — and poise — when the Gin Kings mounted their trademark comeback.
“We learned our lessons in the last two losses,” said Jarencio, who missed the prolific Terrence Romeo.
Kelly Nabong, the tournament’s leading rebounder, fired 12 points and plucked down 13 boards that helped in dealing the Elasto Painters a second straight loss in a 1-3 card.
While Pringle took a lot of the offensive load, his backup crew tightened the noose on the Painters and starved the enemy to the lowest output in the conference.
Not bad at all for the team that was second worst in the points allowed department coming into this contest.
“The players and I talked about it, being the (second) worst (defensive) team,” Jarencio explained. “We were giving up 109 points per game and we agreed that we needed to play defense. And we did.”
KIA, the only winless team in the field, is the only team worse than the Batang Pier in the department after yielding an average of 109.5 points.
Gabe Norwood paced the Painters with 15 points, with Mark Borboran finishing with 13 and Maverick Ahanmisi 10. Rain or Shine missed star guard Jericho Cruz for the second straight outing.