In a stunning turn of events, NorthPort orchestrated an impressive 18-0 run in the second quarter, setting the stage for their third consecutive victory in the PBA on Tour at the expense of Barangay Ginebra.
The Batang Pier wrested control from the hot-starting Gin Kings and rode the wave of momentum to secure a hard-fought 101-95 win at the Batangas City Coliseum in Batangas City on Saturday.
Under the guidance of Coach Bonnie Tan, NorthPort has undergone a remarkable transformation, bouncing back from two consecutive losses to elevate their record to an impressive 3-2 in the preseason meet presented by Arena Plus and sponsored by Bingo Plus. On the other hand, the Gin Kings suffered their third defeat in four outings.
Fran Yu, a standout from Letran and a draft hopeful, took center stage in this crucial victory, delivering an outstanding performance with 21 points, including six successful three-pointers on 10 attempts. Yu’s sharpshooting from beyond the arc combined with his eight assists, proved instrumental in extending NorthPort’s winning streak.
In the final quarter, Yu displayed his composure by sinking two crucial free throws, helping the Batang Pier create separation and withstand Ginebra’s late rally.
Yu received strong support from JM Calma and Paul Zamar, who contributed 16 points each. Arvin Tolentino made significant contributions with 15 points, nine rebounds, and four blocks, while Joshua Munzon showcased his playmaking skills, recording 10 assists to complement his eight points and nine rebounds.
Ginebra’s Justiniano “Juan” Miguel Gray responded valiantly to NorthPort’s onslaught, leading the Gin Kings with 26 points. However, despite Gray’s scoring prowess, Ginebra was unable to secure back-to-back victories and fell to a 1-3 record.
Ginebra’s early offensive surge, powered by Gray’s sharpshooting, allowed them to establish a commanding 32-17 lead. However, NorthPort mounted a remarkable comeback in the second quarter, outscoring their opponents with a dominant 28-9 performance.
The highlight of this pivotal quarter was an impressive 18-point unanswered run by NorthPort, completely reversing a 27-39 deficit into a 45-39 lead for the Batang Pier. This surge of momentum proved to be a turning point in the game, as NorthPort seized control and never relinquished its advantage.
NorthPort’s victory over Ginebra exemplified their resilience and determination to succeed. Coach Bonnie Tan’s influence has clearly had a positive impact on the team, as they continue to showcase remarkable performances and climb up the standings.
As the preseason series progresses, NorthPort will look to build on its recent success and maintain its winning momentum. With Fran Yu’s stellar play and the collective effort of the entire team, the Batang Pier has emerged as a force to be reckoned with in the competition.
NorthPort 101—Yu 21, Zamar 16, Calma 16, Tolentino 15, Munzon 8, Bauzon 8, Salado 8, Ayaay 5. Balagasay 2, Comboy 2, Gabriel 0, Olivario 0.
Ginebra 95—Gray 26, Pessumal 16, David 15, Pinto 14, Mariano 10, R. Aguilar 9, Onwubere 3, Gumaru 2, Dillinger 0, Cu 0, Aurin 0.
Quarters: 17-32, 45-41, 68-63, 101-95.