(Mall of Asia Arena)
4:30 p.m. -- Meralco vs. Blackwater
7 p.m. -- NLEX vs. Alaska
GLOBALPORT survived an endgame scare and escaped with a thrilling 98-94 victory over a surging San Miguel squad in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena last night.
Up by one, 95-94 in the last 37 seconds, the Batang Pier almost lost the chance to seal the deal as Stanley Pringle’s lay-up was blocked by Beermen import Renaldo Balkman with 27 remaining.
But Pringle was quick to atone to the turnover as he stole the ball in the ensuing play with Moala Tautuaa finishing on the other end for a 97-94 advantage in the last 19 seconds as Globalport snapped its two-game losing skid.
The Batang Pier improved to a 4-4 win-loss record and beefed up their chances in going to the next round despite the ejection of their import Malcolm White in the last 8:09 of the game after incurring two technical fouls.
San Miguel, on the other hand, suffered its fourth loss after a three-game winning streak and fell to 3-4 in the midseason conference.
White and Pringle led Globalport’s scorers with White finishing with 25 points and 10 rebounds, while Pringle contributed 22 points.
Sean Anthony was the only other Batang Pier player in double figures, chipping in 11 points and nine rebounds.
For Globalport coach Pido Jarencio, his reinforcement’s untimely exit turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
“Motivation sa amin yung pagkawala ni Malcolm White. Positive talaga for the team na nawala yung import tapos nagbigay ng energy yung ibang players,” he said.
“This is a big win for us, especially going into the playoffs,” added Jarencio, as the Batang Pier beat the powerhouse Beermen for the first time in two seasons. “Pag natalo kami, bababa kami. At least, we have a big chance to be in the final eight.”
Down by eight, 71-79 going into the payoff period, Globalport slowly crawled back in the game as it took advantage of the errors committed by San Miguel, with Nico Elorde tying the game at 86-all in the 5:14 mark.
Elorde again bailed the Batang Pier with 48 seconds left after his triple gave them a 95-92 lead.
Meanwhile, Macmac Tallo just might be getting the shot that he is looking for in the PBA after he was signed by the NLEX Road Warriors to shore up its depleted backcourt.
Picked ninth in this year’s PBA Draft by Talk N Text, Tallo found himself buried at the end of the bench in a loaded backcourt led by high-scoring Jayson Castro and newly acquired Terrence Romeo.
With RR Garcia, Jericho Cruz and Ryan Reyes also fighting for minutes in the KaTropa backcourt, Tallo got relegated to the reserve list in the ongoing Commissioner’s Cup as an unrestricted free agent.
Tallo disclosed that last week, he got a call from TnT team manager Virgil Villavicencio, telling him to report to the NLEX camp that was keen on giving him a look in the wake of the knee injury suffered by Kevin Alas and the recent 18-month suspension of rookie star Kiefer Ravena.
Globalport (98) -- White 25, Pringle 22, Guinto 9, Tautuaa 8, Grey 7, Elorde 6, Nabong 3, Teng 3, Javelona 2, Sargent 2.
San Miguel (94) -- Balkman 33, Fajardo 20, Cabagnot 19, Santos 10, Lassiter 6, Ross 6, Ganuelas-Rosser 0, Heruela 0, Mamaril 0, Pessumal 0, Standhardinger 0.
Quarterscores: 23-27, 47-51, 71-79, 98-94.