By JONAS TERRADO
(Mall of Asia Arena)
4:30 p.m. – Meralco vs Blackwater
7 p.m. – NLEX vs Alaska
Nico Elorde hit the go-ahead triple while Stanley Pringle’s hustle led to a crucial stop as GlobalPort snapped defending champion San Miguel’s three-game winning streak with a 98-94 victory in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Elorde’s open three from the left elbow gave the Batang Pier a 95-92 lead, 48.1 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, even as Pringle deflected Arwind Santos’ inbound pass two possessions later before diving for the ball to feed Mo Tautuaa for an easy layup that made it 97-94 with than 20 ticks left.
The two plays allowed GlobalPort to complete a determined comeback from a 12-point third quarter deficit and playing sans import Malcolm White in the game’s final 8:09 due to a second technical foul and move into fifth place in the standings with an even 4-4 record.
“Motivation sa amin yung pagkawala ni Malcolm White,” said GlobalPort coach Pido Jarencio. “Positive talaga ang pagkawala niya dahil yun ang nagbigay ng energy sa mga ibang players kaya this is a big win for us.”
Pringle had 22 points, six rebounds, eight assists and three steals despite coming off a stint representing the Philippines in the FIBA 3×3 World Cup while Elorde finished with six points, seven rebounds and five assists for the Batang Pier.
White scored 25 points but was tossed after being called a technical foul for a second motion, hitting San Miguel import Renaldo Balkman with a forearm while converting a layup. White got a first technical in the second quarter for continuous complaining.
GlobalPort refused to waver despite White’s ejection as Pringle played as if he had not played in the 3×3 World Cup, scoring layups and setting up assists for teammates.
It was Pringle who also allowed Elorde to bury the three when he found the former Ateneo guard open with the game tied at 92-all.
The Beermen had two chances to reclaim the driver seat as Balkman scored two free throws and blocked Pringle’s layup on the ensuing possession. But Pringle came through with the defensive play by intercepting Santos’ pass intended for Alex Cabagnot, leading to Tautuaa’s basket and a three-point Batang Pier advantage.
Balkman, who scored 33 points, lost the ball as he was driving to the hoop after Tautuaa’s basket, thus giving GlobalPort a big win.
June Mar Fajardo posted 20 points and eight rebounds while Cabagnot added 19 points but the Beermen dropped to 3-4.
GLOBALPORT 98 – White 25, Pringle 22, Anthony 11, Guinto 9, Tautuaa 8, Grey 7, Elorde 6, Teng 3, Nabong 3, Sargent 2, Javelona 2.
SAN MIGUEL 94 – Balkman 33, Fajardo 20, Cabagnot 19, Santos 10, Lassiter 6, Santos 6, Rosser 0, Heruela 0, Pessumal 0, Standhardinger 0.
Quarters: 23-27; 47-51; 71-79; 98-94.