Stanley Pringle caught fire in the fourth quarter and dragged GlobalPort to its first win, an 86-85 squeaker over Meralco, in the 2018 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Friday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Despite feeling some tightness on his legs, the former Rookie of the Year uncorked 17 points, 13 in the fourth quarter including the game-sealing foul shots with 14.3 seconds left, and added seven rebounds and three assists.
“We’re struggling, especially Stanley because he’s playing through an injury. Luckily for us, he picked it up in the fourth quarter,” said coach Pido Jarencio, whose squad bounced back from a 114-128 defeat to TNT last Sunday.
GlobalPort fought back from an eight-point deficit, 63-55, late in the third quarter with an 20-6 run heading into payoff period to grab a 77-69 lead with 6:24 remaining.
The Bolts, however, made it a one-point game, 83-82, with 42.3 seconds left and got a big stop when Pringle missed on a drive.
However, Anjo Caram was forced out of bounds by Nico Elorde in the ensuing possession, leading to Pringle’s split from the line that extended the lead to two, 84-82.
Jared Dillinger tried to go for the home run, but air-balled his triple as Meralco dropped its first assignment of the conference.
Malcolm White topscored for the Batang Pier with 27 points and 17 boards, while Sean Anthony got 15 points, seven rebounds, and two assists.
Despite the win, Jarencio admits that his side is still groping for form.
“The chemistry is still not there, so I commend my last group for coming through. I’ll take it. A win is a win,” he said.
Niño Canaleta waxed hot from downtown, going 7-of-12 to pace the Bolts with 28 points and four rebounds, while Arinze Onuaku got 21 points and 14 boards in his PBA return.
GLOBALPORT 86 — White 27, Pringle 17, Anthony 15, Araña 7, Nabong 6, Grey 5, Teng 3, Elorde 2, Gabayni 2, Viernes 2, Guinto 0, Sargent 0.
MERALCO 85 — Cañaleta 28, Onuaku 21, Caram 9, Newsome 9, Amer 8, Hodge 6, Hugnatan 2, Salva 2, Dillinger 0, Sedurifa 0.
Quarters: 23-25, 45-44, 63-65, 86-85.
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