GlobalPort used a superb opening surge and did enough to keep TNT at bay to eke out the 99-84 victory and move up in the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Batang Pier came hot off the gates with a 21-3 salvo before building that lead to its highest at 30, 67-37.
Jayson Castro tried his earnest to bring TNT back in the game, cutting the lead to as low as nine, 94-84 with 2:33 remaining, but Jonathan Grey converted huge buckets to stave off the rally and help GlobalPort snag seventh place with a 4-4 card.
“We started aggressive,” said coach Pido Jarencio. “TNT played three games in a week so our mindset was to take advantage of that, push the ball, and be aggressive and physical on defense. Luckily from the start, we really played well.”
GlobalPort found an unlikely hero in Nico Elorde, who stepped up to the challenge and fired 17 points, seven rebounds, and seven assists.
Stanley Pringle added 16 markers, 10 boards, four dimes, and three steals, while Bradwyn Guinto got a double-double of 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Also one of the few heroes for the Batang Pier was Yousef Taha, who poured seven of his 11 markers in the payoff period, which were instrumental in keeping the KaTropa in check as the starters got a much needed rest.
“TNT got the momentum, but we’re comfortable because they were still playing catch-up. Our lead was still double digits and it really showed that the players really wanted to enter the playoffs and grabbed this chance,” said Jarencio.
Castro topped TNT with 24 points and four assists, while Kelly Williams got 21 markers and 12 boards.
The KaTropa has now dropped their last three outings and sit at ninth with their 4-6 record.
GLOBALPORT 99 — Elorde 17, Pringle 16, Guinto 12, Taha 11, Grey 10, Nabong 10, Teng 9, Araña 6, Gabayni 6, Sargent 2, Anthony 0, Flores 0, Juico 0.
TNT 84 — Castro 24, Williams 21, Pogoy 14, Carey 10, Tautuaa 8, Semerad 3, Garcia 2, Reyes 2, Paredes 0, Torres 0.
Quarters: 34-12, 61-36, 79-64, 99-84.
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