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NorthPort dominates Blackwater, secures crucial Commissioner’s Cup game victory

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CRUCIAL WIN. The Venky Jois-led NorthPort Batang Pier secures a crucial win against the Blackwater, 106-89 victory in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Friday, January 5, 2024. PBA PHOTO

NorthPort Batang Pier set the tone for the new year by dominating Blackwater, securing a crucial 106-89 victory in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Friday, January 5, 2024.

The Batang Pier, hungry for redemption after a two-game slide, showcased a superior performance on both ends of the court. Their relentless pursuit of success was evident as they controlled the game, particularly during the second and third quarters, ultimately securing a comfortable victory.

With this win, NorthPort solidified its spot in the quarterfinals with a commendable 6-4 record, currently sitting in sixth place. Now, with their quarterfinal berth guaranteed, the team sets its sights on climbing up the rankings as they face Barangay Ginebra in their final elimination round matchup on Sunday.

Joshua Munzon, who played a pivotal role in the team’s victory, expressed his satisfaction with the team’s performance. He felt good about starting the year with a victory.

NorthPort’s head coach, Bonnie Tan, echoed Munzon’s sentiments, emphasizing the importance of maintaining their winning streak. He said the team is on the right track and will just have to win their next game against Ginebra to secure a good position.

Looking ahead to the matchup against Barangay Ginebra, Tan stressed the significance of securing a victory. 

The match against Ginebra is a must-win, Tan said, adding that they need to claim another victory against a more beatable team. “It’s a very crucial match,” he said.

NorthPort’s import, Venky Jois, delivered an outstanding performance, contributing 19 points, 20 rebounds, seven assists, two steals, and three blocks. Despite being benched in the final minutes, Jois played a pivotal role in securing the victory.

Other key contributors for NorthPort included Paul Zamar, JM Calma, Arvin Tolentino, Kris Rosales, and John Amores, all of whom scored at least 10 points each. Calma narrowly missed a double-double by just one rebound, showcasing the team’s depth and versatility.

On the other hand, Blackwater, already eliminated from the quarterfinals race, faced a tough challenge against NorthPort. Rey Suerte’s 20 points led the Bossing, but their efforts fell short as they succumbed to a 1-9 record.

As NorthPort celebrates a crucial victory, they remain focused on their next challenge against Barangay Ginebra, aiming to secure a higher seeding and maintain their momentum heading into the quarterfinals.

The boxscores:

NorthPort 106 – Munzon 20, Jois 19, Zamar 13, Calma 10, Tolentino 10, Rosales 10, Amores 7, Yu 6, Bulanadi 5, Flores 5, Paraiso 1, Taha 0, Chan 0, Adamos 0.

Blackwater 89 – Suerte 20, David 17, Ortiz 14, Concepcion 10, Kwukuteye 8, Ilagan 7, Escoto 5, DiGregorio 3, Jopia 2, Hill 2, Ular 1, Amer 0, Guinto 0, Banal 0.

Quarter scores: 18-17, 45-35, 84-66, 106-89

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