Arvin Tolentino made an impressive debut in the PBA On Tour, ensuring that NorthPort sailed to a commanding 112-95 victory over Blackwater on June 9 at the Ynares Arena.
Tolentino’s stellar performance included 18 of his game-high 22 points in the second half, effectively restoring the Batang Pier’s composure after their once-18-point lead was trimmed down to just eight in the third quarter.
Tolentino’s impact was immediate, leaving a lasting impression on his first outing with NorthPort. With 5:45 remaining in the game, he was taken out for good, but not before sinking a clutch three-pointer that extended the Batang Pier’s lead to 96-70, solidifying their path to a second consecutive win. The victory brought NorthPort’s record to an even 2-2 in the pre-season tune-up series presented by Arena Plus and sponsored by Bingo Plus.
Reflecting on his standout performance, Tolentino expressed gratitude for the team’s recovery in the second half. His performance on the court was complemented by the stellar contributions of Joshua Munzon, Paul Zamar, JM Calma, and Paolo Taha, all of whom registered double-digit scoring outputs.
Munzon continued to impress as a starter, finishing the game with 19 points. Zamar provided a significant boost in the first half with 17 points, 13 of which came in the opening two quarters, helping NorthPort secure a 42-38 lead at halftime. Calma, tasked with handling the middle position due to injuries, contributed 16 points, while Taha added 11 points to the team’s tally.
On the opposing side, Troy Rosario led Blackwater’s scoring effort with 17 points. The team, which had been aiming to build on their 100-94 victory over Terrafirma last week, found themselves tied with NorthPort and idle San Miguel Beer in the standings. RK Ilagan chipped in 15 points, Tyrus Hill made an impact off the bench with 12 points and seven rebounds, and Baser Amer and Rashawn McCarthy each added 11 points for the Bossing.
Similar to Tolentino, Rosario had a slow start, contributing just four points in the first half.
However, he came alive in the third quarter, scoring 11 points and leading Blackwater’s comeback bid from a 42-60 deficit to a more manageable 57-65 scoreline. But Tolentino responded by assisting Calma for a basket and sinking three consecutive triples, widening NorthPort’s lead to 85-69 heading into the final quarter.
In the fourth period, Tolentino spearheaded the Batang Pier’s decisive 8-0 run. He showcased his scoring prowess with several baskets, including a crucial three-pointer, pushing NorthPort’s lead to an insurmountable 26 points at 96-70.
NorthPort’s dominant victory over Blackwater demonstrated their offensive firepower and ability to respond to challenges on the court. As the PBA On Tour continues, both teams will be looking to build on their performances and fine-tune their strategies in preparation for the upcoming season.
NORTHPORT 112—Tolentino 22, Munzon 19, Zamar 17, Calma 16, Taha 11, Ayaay 7, Bauzon 7, Salado 7, Santos 4, Bulawan 2, Balagasay 0, Olivario 0, Sobrevega 0.
BLACKWATER 95–Rosario 17, Ilagan 15, Hill 12, Amer 11, McCarthy 11, Suerte 7, Banal 6, Sena 5, Publico 4, Taha 3, Ayonayon 3, Escoto 1, Ular 0.
Quarters: 32-19, 51-37, 85-69, 112-95.