photo by PBA


Northport keeps improbable run going, slays Ginebra to draw first blood in their Semis series

by Reynald Magallon, December 14, 2019 8:47pm

The NorthPort Batang Pier kept its cinderella run going as they shocked the Ginebra San Miguel, 124-90, to draw first blood in the Game One of their 2019 Governors' Cup Best-of-Five Semi-Finals series at the Araneta Coliseum on Saturday.

The eight seeded Batang Pier once again banked on their high scoring import Michael Qualls who set the tone for them with a 27 point first half points to finish with 38 markers. The rest of the team then followed suit with Garvo Lanete exploding for 24 points, spiked by a total of six rainbow connections. Christian standhardinger was in his usual form finishing with 16 point, 15 rebounds and six assists.

The Batang Pier rode a blistering 20-7 start in the second frame to build a 40-29 lead. They settled for a 12-point advantage at the half before stretched the lead to 16 points early in the third frame, 57-41.

Ginebra however refused to back down as they went to a run to come within one, 63-62 with minute in the third. Northport though didn't falter as they retaliated with a 11-2 spurt capped by a Garvo Lanete trey to extend the lead back to twin digits, 74-64 with 1:02 left in the third.

The Batang Pier then regained their touch in the final frame as a 15-4 rally enabled them to push the lead to 21, 93-72 with 7:37 left in the game. It was the back-to-back treys from Lanete and Qualls triggered the pivotal Batang Pier run. Justin Brownlee and Japeth Aguilar exchanged baskets with the Batang Pier before a Lanete floater and another Qualls long bomb capped the run.

"Maybe we just caught Ginebra off-night, siguro mahaba lang rin yung break and kami naman mas gutom. We just executed the game plan defensively. I commend my coaching staff, tulong tulong to eh, lahat nag contribute, lahat doing their share," said Jarencio who got five players scoring double figures for the Batang Pier.

The Kings tried to string some baskets together but the Batang Pier never let go of the gas pedal as Lanete, Sean Anthony and Sol Mercado joined the party to shock Ginebra.

Brownlee and Stanley Pringle paced the Kings with 24 and 21 points respectively but weren't enough to carry the fourth seed Ginebra to victory.

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